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RBC I As the orange fiber optic lines of broadband service begin rolling out across the county many home and business owners in Meeker and Rangely are full of excitement and questions about the project.
Rio Blanco County IT Director Blake Mobley describes the venture as “a huge and beneficial project. Our goals are very lofty but within reach.”
Locals who want to stay up to date on the project and be notified when services become available can sign up with Colorado.Fiber.Community, the network operator, at a link on the county website.
The link can be found under the heading Information, Broadband or on CFC’s website: coloradofibercommunity.com.
Mobley says the project is well underway with approximately four miles of in-town conduit currently laid in both Rangely and Meeker, which is approximately one third of the total in-town line.
The next step will be to remodel the broadband center, which will be located in the old Rangely Kum & Go building. Once the in-town work is done they will begin on the towers which will provide service to the rural areas of the county.
Mobley hopes to be providing some areas of Meeker and Rangely with broadband service options by end of 2015 with the semi rural areas getting access in the fall of 2016.
Once that is completed they will begin to expand into the deeper rural points of the county.
It will be up to the network operator, Colorado.Fiber.Community, to determine which Internet providers will be allowed to access the line and provide service, and according to Mobley they are currently in discussion with several different potential providers.
In order to ensure a high level of service the county commissioners have set minimum service levels that must be made available to customers by any of the providers.
The total estimated cost of the project is $12 million with the county receiving several grants towards the project including one for $2 million.
It isn’t only local citizens who are excited about the project, as it is being closely followed at both the state and national level with even the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) taking notice.
“Our project is arguably, the fastest moving of its type in Colorado at the moment,” Mobley said.