Delta-Montrose Electric Association is expanding outside its service territory to begin offering high-speed Elevate Fiber in the City of Delta. While occasionally rivals in the world of electrical service, DMEA and the city are closely aligned in the desire to bring broadband to the community, first to businesses and then to residences.
An agreement to allow Region 10 the use of excess fiber moves the City of Delta one step closer to opening its broadband network to the providers who will deliver high speed internet service to homes and businesses in the community.
The intent is for Region 10 to actively market the fiber to last mile internet service providers for low cost, high quality and high speed broadband services.
The Board of County Commissioners officially endorsed a request by DMEA for grant funding to help with the build out of its broadband fiber-optic network.
In a letter to the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA) the county commissioners stated:
Construction is under way to expand and improve broadband to nearly 3,000 locations in western Colorado. TDS Telecom began work in the spring in portions of Delta and Gunnison counties.
In a symbolic gesture, state, county and city officials gathered to light up the fiberoptic cable that will deliver high speed broadband to both Delta and Montrose.
Phase one construction, and the building of the fiberoptic network in those two cities, is complete following more than three years of planning, engineering and construction.
As middle-mile broadband installation in the City of Delta nears completion, the Delta City Council has finalized a number of service agreements/fiber exchanges with Region 10, DMEA and Elevate Fiber.
According to Glen Black, community development director, equipment installation and testing of fiber to the carrier neutral location should be finished by the end of the month.
Delta-Montrose Elec-tric Association's (DMEA) annual meeting of members will be held Thursday, June 15, at Hotchkiss High School, 438 Bulldog Street. The fun kicks off at 4:30 p.m., with bucket truck rides, kids' games, educational booths, and Elevate Fiber demonstrations.
Competition in broadband is bringing better service options to residents of Delta County.
TDS Telecom recently announced an upgrade of service for the Cedaredge area.
Cedaredge will not participate in the Region 10 broadband project by providing fiberoptic links to anchor institutions in town after all. (Anchor institutions are libraries, schools, fire departments, medical facilities that need broadband internet.)
As the regional broadband project nears completion in the City of Delta, the city is updating power pole attachment agreements in anticipation of requests for infrastructure from internet service providers.
FCC regulations require all users be treated the same, including new end-mile service providers who have expressed interest in serving Delta once the regional broadband project has been completed.
The Cedaredge Town Board agreed at its March 16 meeting to what is essentially a non-compete agreement with DMEA (Elevate).
A memorandum of understanding that was provided by DMEA and approved by the town board last week bars future town-owned broadband infrastructure from being used for selling access or signal provided by DMEA, except through established networks.
TDS Telecommunication Corp (TDS®) customers in the town of Cedaredge have faster broadband speeds with the recent launch of up to 50Mbps internet speed.
"For households that demand lots of internet, 50Mbps offers enough bandwidth for delay-free downloads and uploads of speed of 1.5 to 10Mbps," said Shane West, vice president of marketing and product development for TDS.
When Mike and Gretchen King moved to Paonia to start Revolution Brewing, they brought with them an unconventional business model based not so much on profit as on progressive ideas that support the community. It's worked well, said Mike King. The Rev will celebrate its ninth anniversary this May.
The effort to bring high speed broadband to Delta County is moving much faster than anyone anticipated. Working with Region 10 and contractor TCS Communications, the City of Delta has seen installation of fiber optic cables throughout the city.
Organizers of the first Farm to Fiddle celebration say they plan to bring the festival back for a second year. The event was held during the weekend of the Delta County Fair.
A failure to properly locate and mark a utility line where drilling was planned resulted in a 12-hour outage of phone and internet services for TDS and other customers throughout much of Delta County and the North Fork area last Wednesday. The outage, which lasted from approximately 9:10 a.m. to 10 p.m., left many without vital means of communication.
Throughout the day businesses were unable to process credit and debit card payments, prescriptions went unfilled, and some area banks were forced to close.
Construction of Region 10's broadband fiber-optic network is underway in the City of Delta. Contractor TCS Communications has begun with underground boring and also with attaching fiber optic cables to poles within the city.
Region 10 has selected TCS Communications LLC, a Colorado-based contractor, to build broadband infrastructure in the City of Delta. Region 10 welcomes TCS to its broadband implementation team and looks forward to working with one of Colorado's best network construction companies, with extensive experience in middle mile and fiber to the premise projects.
The Region 10 broadband project is looking to the state for more grant money to extend fiber optic cable to "anchor institutions" within local communities. The Region 10 plan has received grant commitments from the state and federal governments, and also cash support from the cities of Delta and Montrose and Delta County.
With the acquisition of several large grants and the development of a comprehensive implementation strategy, the regional broadband network proposed by Region 10 is becoming more of a reality by the day.
As this project accelerates, the need for a high level of detail and technical knowledge to implement the strategy are the utmost importance.
Region 10's efforts for improving broadband services is becoming a reality. Region 10 League for Economic Assistance and Planning announces the arrival of the first order of fiber optic cable for construction of its regional broadband network.
The Orchard City trustees at their regular monthly meeting on July 13 declined an offer to host a community event promoting DMEA's broadband business project. However, explained Mayor Ken Volgamore, there is no problem if private individuals want to rent the community room and stage a promotion on their own.
At its annual meeting of members on June 16, Delta-Montrose Electric Association (DMEA) will introduce Elevate Fiber and demonstrate the fastest Internet service on the market. Elevate Fiber, powered by DMEA, is the co-op's new fiber broadband company that was recently established to bring fast, reliable, and quality Internet service to members in Montrose and Delta counties.
In a telephone conference held on Monday, the Board of County Commissioners received an update on the Region 10 broadband middle mile project from director Michelle Haynes.
She noted some progress, but also indicated that work has slipped months behind schedule in other areas.
Speaking to a gathering of elected officials and senior staff at the Municipal Quarterly meeting in Paonia last Friday, Jasen Bronec, Delta-Montrose Electric Association CEO, unveiled details of DMEA's broadband plan including rates the co-op will charge.
DMEA is becoming a new entrant in the local Internet service provider marketplace which, by one recent count, already has 12 to 15 private sector companies competing for home and business customers.
Not long ago, Delta County was said to be broadband deficient. Now, there are two broadband "middle mile" systems in planning or construction and consumers look to benefit as other Internet options become available.
In March, Delta-Montrose Electric Association (DMEA) announced Phase I of its fiber-to-the-premises broadband business. Paonia, Orchard City and South Montrose were identified as the zones to be targeted first. Specific details about the exact locations these areas will include are not yet available.
Delta-Montrose Electric Association (DMEA) will kick off its much anticipated fiber-to-the-premise business this month. The first three areas set to receive quality high-speed Internet services through DMEA are south Montrose, Paonia and Orchard City.
DMEA, one of the two major players on the broadband field, provided an update to the Board of County Commissioners on Monday.
DMEA SmartGrid coordinator Mark Kurtz and chief operations manager Steve Metheney reported on DMEA's progress building its own consumer broadband Internet service provider (ISP) network and business plan.
Orchard City voters will have a chance to decide whether their town government may "opt out" from the statutory prohibitions of Senate Bill 152 and thereby use public resources to support a local telecommunications "broadband" business.
An opt-out measure similar to the ones adopted by voters in five other local municipalities, and also by county voters, was approved by the town board in January.
Delta-Montrose Electric Association's board of directors has voted unanimously to proceed with a fiber-to-the-premise (FTTP) business in order to bring reliable broadband Internet service to the citizens and businesses in Montrose and Delta counties. The DMEA board approved a phased deployment, which will begin with an initial pilot phase.
When it comes to technology, John Gavan is pretty smart.
Few people in Delta County understand more than Gavan the positive repercussions of last week's announcement that Delta-Montrose Electric Association will move forward with providing high-speed broadband Internet throughout its service area.
The Town of Orchard City has taken a different approach from other county municipalities on the broadband issue.
That doesn't mean the town won't be participating in the Region 10 broadband network project.
Cedaredge will be looking at a cost of some $75,000 for its share to extend fiber optic cable to institutional anchor sites in town, according to a report to the trustees on Nov. 19.
Under the Region 10 broadband plan, fiber optic cable will be extended to a "carrier-neutral location" in the town.
Cedaredge voters casting ballots in the Nov. 3 election expressed strong hope for improved Internet service, but little desire for higher taxes.
The county elections department reported there were 671 votes cast on the town's healthy living lifestyles tax proposal.
In light of passage of the Town of Crawford Ballot Question 2D, which more than 77 percent of town voters approved in the Nov. 3 combined election, trustees continued discussion of funding of the project at the Nov. 4 town work session. Question 2D asked voters to opt out of Colorado Senate Bill 05-152, which calls for voter approval before a local government can use taxpayer money to engage in providing telecommunications services.
Those who have been working to develop and expand broadband in western Colorado received good news this month.
The Partnerships for Opportunity, Workforce, and Economic Revitalization (POWER) program awarded Region 10 -- the six-county council of governments representing Delta, Montrose, Gunnison, Hinsdale, Ouray and San Miguel counties -- a $1.2 million grant to go toward its continued efforts in increasing access to affordable and abundant high speed Internet services.
The conversation regarding bringing high-speed broadband Internet services to rural Delta County has been ongoing ever since Region 10 received grant money from the Department of Local Affairs for creation of a regional broadband network within the region. For the Town of Hotchkiss, much of the focus is now on fiduciary responsibility.
The anchor institutions designated for inclusion in the Region 10 broadband plan are a key element in the overall project vision. The county is working to arrange a discussion of anchor institution issues among local officials at the courthouse on Nov. 2.
The board of trustees for the Town of Hotchkiss wants to make it perfectly clear that the town has no intention of entering into the business of providing broadband Internet services to the public.
Trustees voted at the October public meeting to publish an FYI bulletin regarding Ballot Question 2-C. Ballots were mailed out last week.
Regarding an opt-out of Colorado Senate Bill 05-152:
As you receive your ballots for the upcoming Nov. 3 election, you will see questions regarding "re-establishing rights to provide all services restricted since 2005 by Title 29, article 27 of the Colorado Revised Statutes."
I am writing to encourage the voters in unincorporated Delta County and the voters in Delta, Cedaredge, Hotchkiss, Paonia and Crawford to vote yes to opt out of the provisions of Senate Bill 152 as it relates to broadband. In no way does this obligate any of these entities to operate or contribute financially to efforts to bring greater Internet speed and reliability to all of Delta County.
If Yogi Berra were still with us, he would describe the Delta County and town ballot issues on Internet and cable TV service as "Déjà vu all over again."
It's "all over again" because Delta County fought and won a similar fight when it established Delta-Montrose Electric Association to provide rural parts of the two counties with electricity.
The town of Crawford has agreed to budget about $60,000 over the next two to three years to pay for its estimated share of installation of "final mile" broadband infrastructure. The project is part of a $5.2 million grant from the Colorado Department of Local Affairs obtained by Region 10 to provide affordable high-speed broadband Internet services to Montrose and Delta counties.
At a work session on Sept. 29 Hotchkiss trustees were informed that the town is being asked to commit money toward building middle-mile broadband infrastructure. The Delta-Montrose Electric Association, which is partnering with Region 10 on a grant to build that infrastructure, originally asked the town for a letter of support.
An 81-page public version of the 120-page plan for Region 10's middle mile fiberoptic network has been released.
The report was authored by NEO Fiber, Inc., a digital consultantcy headquartered in Carbondale.
The directors of Delta-Montrose Electric Association are trying to work through differences about whether or how to move forward with a third study of a fiber optic network project often referred to as "broadband."
A consultant's estimate for building out DMEA's proposed "last mile" Internet broadband business model is $94 million.
The figure was confirmed last week by DMEA staff in an email reply to the DCI.
Paonia voters will be asked to consider whether to opt out of Senate Bill 05-152 -- which restricts municipalities from providing Internet services -- in the Nov. 3 general election.
At the Aug. 25 town board meeting, trustees voted unanimously to adopt a resolution calling for the referendum to be placed on the ballot, and approved an intergovernmental agreement with the Delta County Clerk for coordinated election services.
The Crawford Town Council was considering calling a special meeting last week following a presentation by Delta-Montrose Electric Association and Delta County Economic Development representatives regarding bringing high-speed broadband Internet fiber optics to the town.
For the town to support the effort, voters must approve a referendum asking for the town to opt out of Senate Bill 05-152.
Delta Montrose Electric Association is asking local governments in Delta County for assistance in making plans for a possible decision to enter the "last mile" Internet service provider business.
The Orchard City Town Board has hit the brakes and taken a "slow down, wait and see" approach to the coordinated push to place a broadband "opt-out" measure on local November ballots.
The Orchard City Town Board is hoping to get some questions answered soon about the Region 10 broadband fiberoptic cable network project. At the trustees' Aug. 12 meeting, concerns about potential pitfalls of the project were aired when supporters advised the board on allowing the town to enter the Internet service provider business.
Trish Thibodo, director of Delta County Economic Development, came before the Hotchkiss Town Council on Aug. 13 to give a presentation on efforts to bring broadband Internet access to Delta County. DCED is working with Region 10, which was recently awarded a $5.2 million grant to build middle-mile infrastructure to provide that access to the county.
Access to high speed Internet has been identified as a necessity for economic development, and the Colorado Department of Local Affairs will be providing $5.2 million to begin addressing this need on the Western Slope. On Aug. 6, Region 10 LEAP Inc. received the official notice of award for a grant it submitted in partnership with the cities of Delta and Montrose, Delta County, Delta Montrose Electric Association (DMEA), and Delta County Economic Development (DCED).
The $5.22 million grant awarded to Region 10 and its partners comes from a special state account earmarked to pay "broadband" infrastructure development costs. The account is administered by the Colorado Department of Local Affairs (DOLA) and funded with monies paid to the state by Colorado's energy exploration, development and production industry.
The Town of Paonia is considering placing a broadband initiative on this November's general election ballot.
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