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. By mid May, DMEA plans to offer members in these areas an opportunity to start signing up for service.
"Today, quality of life and economic development are tied to the availability of high-speed Internet. Communities within our service territory are underserved, and we recognize the positive role DMEA can play in meeting our members' needs. I give credit to my fellow board members for their fastidious dedication to our members and the thorough work of the management team. Both were needed to make this project possible," said DMEA board president Bill Patterson.
Phase I will include offering service to approximately 7,500 homes and businesses. The selected locations explore the many scenarios DMEA will encounter throughout the construction process, including urban and rural areas, both Delta and Montrose counties, and both underground and overhead installations.
In response to member requests and after diligent research, DMEA's board of directors unanimously voted to establish a wholly owned subsidiary Internet service provider in order to bring reliable broadband Internet service to the citizens and businesses in Montrose and Delta counties.
"Bringing broadband to our service territory is part of DMEA's long range plan to bolster the foundations of our communities. It's a vital piece in developing and delivering quality educational, medical, safety, and governmental services. Broadband has also become a proven economic driver that attracts and retains businesses and families. Our members deserve access to such a necessity," stressed DMEA South Region board representative Tony Prendergast.
Homeowners and business owners within the Phase I regions will receive information about how to sign up in advance, along with the various packages and pricings available. Further information about these items is not available at this time.
"As we move forward with this project, we ask that our members have patience with us. It may seem like we are moving slowly, but establishing our fiber network will require both careful planning and substantial construction work in the field. We also need the support of our members who already have part of our fiber network on their property. We're asking that they allow us to use the fiber for Internet in addition to DMEA's normal business purposes. It's a true cooperative effort," said DMEA District #3 board representative Olen Lund.
"Phase one of our fiber-to-the-premise or 'last mile' provider business is in addition to our middle mile fiber partnership with Region 10, which will be happening simultaneously, and will hopefully increase the overall ability of service within the region," added Patterson.
DMEA is a rural electric distribution cooperative, located in Montrose, Colorado. DMEA was originally founded in 1938, as Delta-Montrose Rural Power Lines Association. The cooperative is governed by a board of directors, from nine districts covering three counties. DMEA serves approximately 32,000 residential, commercial and industrial meters, on over 3,000 miles of cooperative owned distribution line.
A collaborative effort between the Delta County Sheriff's Office and municipal law enforcement agencies throughout Delta County has resulted in a proposal for a 1 percent sales tax increase to fund public safety. A PowerPoint presentation titled "Back the Badge" is starting to make the rounds at city/town council meetings, service club luncheons and other events.