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Fall photo, coloring contest winners named

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This photo by Lisa Rediger garnered top honors in Elevate's first fall photo adventure contest. Rediger won a Roku 4 streaming device.

The results are in and smiles abound. Elevate Fiber announced the winners of its annual fall photo adventure and coloring contest last week. Members were asked to submit their best Colorado adventure photos for a chance to win. Kids, 10 and under, showed off their artistic skills with a coloring contest.

Elevate Fiber congratulates all the winners listed below:

Photo contest -- Lisa Rediger, first; Will Brumas, second; Artie Elliot, third.

Coloring contest, ages 8-10 -- Aaliyah Gallegos, first; Aprielle Trujillo, second.

Coloring contest, ages 5-7 -- Elizabeth Lasley, first.

"This was our first photo contest and the response from our community was tremendous. It shouldn't be a surprise as Elevate has been propelled by community support from the start," said DMEA marketing supervisor Becky Mashburn.

Established in 2016, Elevate Fiber, powered by DMEA, has grown quickly. It now provides fiber internet service with speeds as fast as 1 Gig (1,000 Mbps) to more than 2,200 customers in Montrose and Delta counties. And while service is not available throughout the two counties yet, that is the ultimate goal.

"Elevate is a subsidiary of DMEA, so our focus has always been to build our network throughout the co-op's service territory. Of course, that process won't happen overnight. We're building more than 3,000 miles of fiber in an efficient and financially secure way. That's why we're using a crowdsourcing model to help direct our construction efforts," explained Mashburn.

Elevate Fiber's construction concept is simple; interest drives construction. As a result, DMEA's service territory is divided into 50 different zones. Each of these zones is designed to follow the main DMEA power line serving a specific area, because the fiber optic cables will be strung on DMEA's poles and buried within the co-op's underground easements. Each zone within the territory has a goal for preregistrations that must be met before Elevate builds its network.

"The concept of zones and sign up goals can be confusing, but it really boils down to the need for Elevate and DMEA to ensure that the investment being made to build the fiber network is supported by actual customers. By creating a solid foundation at the start, which includes a steady stream of revenue, we're able to keep moving toward the end goal: make Elevate available to all members. That hardest part for many of us is simply waiting. I always have to remind myself how far we've come in just a year and a half," said Mashburn.

Far is an understatement. Since connecting their first customer in October 2016, Elevate has quickly added customers and expanded their network to include zones across Montrose and Delta counties. Elevate now boasts 9,000 plus preregistrations and 2,230 customers. In addition, nine more zones are more than halfway to their signup goal and moving quickly. The current top runners are:

Paonia 055 - 93 percent to goal, 25 more preregistrations needed.

Montrose 427 - 82 percent goal, 19 more preregistrations needed.

Montrose 813 - 81 percent to goal, 133 more preregistrations needed.

Cedaredge 126 - 70 percent to goal, 36 more preregistrations needed.

Orchard City 112 - 67 percent to goal, 210 more preregistrations needed.

Hotchkiss 67 - 60 percent to goal, 169 more preregistrations needed.

Montrose 415 - 57 percent to goal, 88 more preregistrations needed.

Montrose W. 741 - 56 percent to goal, 99 more preregistrations needed.

Olathe 138 - 51 percent to goal, 63 more preregistrations needed.

The community can view all Elevate zones and their respective goals and preregister for service at join.elevatefiber.com. There is no cost to preregister and doing so locks in the $100 installation fee, due at the time service is installed. A full listing of services and prices is also available at the website.

"We've found that the average speed in DMEA's service territory is just 10 Mbps. So, it's important to know your current speed and what you're paying for it when you price shop. I'm guilty of skimming an advertisement, seeing a price, and not checking to see what conditions may be attached, like promotional timelines, data caps, and slow speeds," said Mashburn.

For more information, visit join.elevatefiber.com, call 877-687-3632 or stop into a local DMEA office.

Left to right, Aaliyah Gallegos, Elizabeth Lasley and Aprielle Trujillo were the winners of Elevate’s coloring contest.
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