Network giving area a fiber-optic upgrade

Nathan Pelloni with White River Electric Association worked May 20 on a fiber-optic cable upgrade — part of a cooperative effort between several Meeker entities.

Nathan Pelloni with White River Electric Association worked May 20 on a fiber-optic cable upgrade — part of a cooperative effort between several Meeker entities.
MEEKER I As they say, it’s all about connections.
In this case, fiber-optic connections.
“Every few months, all MAN (Metropolitan Area Network) techs — made up of the county, town, hospital, school and CSU Extension, with major support from First National Bank of the Rockies and White River Electric Association — get together at one of the entity’s locations to share recent IT discoveries, tips, and tricks,” said Blake Mobley, information technician director for the Meeker School District. “Out of this cooperation, our town’s IT professionals form one of the most cooperative and cohesive IT groups in the state. A great example of this ongoing cooperation occurred last Thursday as WREA donated a five-man crew and several trucks to help run a new fiber-optic cable between the high school and the bus garage.
“This fiber cable will provide a combination of Internet, phone, and data services to such entities as Pioneers Medical Center, county road and bridge, CSU Extension and various Meeker School District buildings, including administration, bus garage and the new elementary school.”
WREA has been a major player in this effort.
“WREA has donated its time, trucks, and manpower to the MAN multiple times in the past when fiber optics are ran on power poles,” Mobley said. “This interagency cooperation between the MAN entities, WREA and First National Bank is invaluable to our community in keeping IT costs to a minimum and leveraging IT services in our small town.
“As a result of this recent project, Meeker School District will be able to run one of the fastest network backbones of any school district in the state of Colorado and services to CSU Extension and road and bridge will be 10 times faster than before the project.”
Besides Mobley, the MAN techs are: Curtis Cooper and Trevor Nielsen (Pioneers Medical Center), and Mike Lani and Jared Harvey (Rio Blanco County), with help from Doug Merrell and Jim Neff (FNBR) and Paul Martin (WREA).
“This MAN cooperation has literally saved taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars over the past 10 years,” Mobley said. “One simple example is the school and county sharing a phone system that, if each had implemented their own, would have cost an extra $50,000 to $100,000. And this is just one example out of a whole host (content filtering, firewall, bandwidth, e-mail servers, etc.). But greater than all this is the sharing of ideas and skills among our small group of IT professionals making Meeker an IT hot spot. As an example, Meeker School District just made a deal with nComputing and Daytona Storage that will establish us as a statewide model school for desktop virtualization, allowing other school districts to come and view our nComputing solution.”