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.
In addition to the city, the power poles are currently used by CenturyLink, Spectrum, Delta County, Delta County Joint School District #50 and a couple of other entities.
During a joint meeting of city and county officials last week, Glen Black, City of Delta community development director, said broadband buildout is about 95 percent complete in the city. The remaining 5 percent involves equipment that will be owned and operated by Region 10.
"We could potentially light up the network by the end of April," he explained.
While only anchor institutions will initially benefit from high speed broadband, internet service providers would have an opportunity to carry the service from a carrier neutral location to homes and businesses in the city.
The city is also finalizing fiber optic exchange agreements with DMEA and Tri-State Generation & Transmission, another step critical to project completion.
High speed broadband has been touted as a critical element to economic development. That's why the county dedicated $750,000 to the project, county administrator Robbie LeValley said. The county's investment ensures high speed broadband will be available countywide.
Commissioner Doug Atchley explained how the broadband project extends beyond the boundaries of Delta County, improving service and redundancy to residents throughout Region 10.
Open access means that multiple providers will be able to serve businesses and residents throughout Delta County. With increased competition, affordability is expected to improve. "That's why we've encouraged the smaller communities not to sign with a single provider," LeValley said, adding that multiple providers also provide assurance in the event of buyouts, acquisitions and mergers in the world of corporate internet service providers.
All five city council members and the three county commissioners attended the joint session. City and county staff members and Trish Thibodo, director of Delta County Economic Development, were also present.
The wide-ranging discussion covered trails and the need to dovetail efforts, economic development partnerships, mental health issues, public lands and animal control.
Both city and county officials agreed to continue getting together, possibly every other month, to discuss issues of common interest.
The Delta Urban Renewal Authority also facilitates collaboration among the city, county and other taxing entities within Delta County. Commissioner Don Suppes, school board member Jill Jurca and a third representative, to be determined from special taxing districts, join the five city council members on the DURA board.
The election results are in at the local, state and national level, and as expected, Democrats are doing well in state and national races. Colorado has elected Jared Polis as governor; nationally the Republicans appear to retain control of the Senate while Democrats now control the House of Representative.
With a ballot full of local and state measures, voter turnout in Delta County topped 71%, with 15,889 ballots cast. Statewide, voter turnout was just over 52%.
Of the three Delta County residents seeking state offices, Matt Soper won over Thea Chase in State Representative Dist. 54; Mike Mason lost to Julie McCluskie in State Representative Dist. 61; and Olen Lund lost to Kerry Donovan in State Senate Dist. 5.
Locally, in the City of Delta voters rejected a .5% sales tax increase to fund recreation, as well as recreational marijuana sales. The sale of medical marijuana and cultivation/manufacturing facilities was approved by a slim margin. Delta voters also gave the city the green light to move forward with selling or trading the Cottonwood and Riverbend Park, and to sell the old Municipal Light and Power Building.