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RBC | In response to a request from the Rio Blanco County Commissioners, county IT director Blake Mobley and Colorado Fiber Network Paul Recanzone, as well as representatives from local broadband Internet providers Cimarron and LAI, met with commissioners Si Woodruff and Jeff Rector Monday to discuss progress on the county’s fiber optic broadband project.
Mobley explained that RBC’s fiber network is now linked to two lines, one running from Denver to Rifle to Meeker, and one running from Meeker to Rifle to Craig and then to Denver.
Additionally, all of the tower paths to Rangely are “lit” and the county has recruited a local operator to conduct locates which are necessary for putting in “drops” to individual businesses and households from the main line.
Rural customers can take comfort in knowing all of the primary towers, except for Cathedral Peak, are lit. Colorado Fiber Community has ordered dishes for rural homes and businesses within the tower coverage which are expected to arrive this week. Secondary towers, which will provide coverage for rural customers off the main towers, are in process. That phase has begun and is expected to continue through October 2018.
Local customers in both towns who are still waiting to be connected can visit rbc.fibercommunity.net to access maps indicating the schedule for coverage. Out of 2,526 households in the county which could be connected (that number could increase slightly), 987 are ready to be hooked up and of those, 581 have had fiber broadband installed as of press time.
Both service providers said most delays in connections have revolved around customers who have contracts with other providers that have to play out and making in-home appointments for installation.
“Time is increased if there’s any problem with the install,” Recanzone said. “A 45 minute install can turn into a three hour install. They have a difficult task they’re doing, and I commend them for that. We’re working together to close this gap.”
The maps on the rbc.fibercommunity.net page indicate the general order of installations for both towns.
Mobley, Recanzone and local reps responded to concerns from connected citizens that when they run speed tests their test results (for 1G subscribers) aren’t at 1G.
“Interstates in Colorado are designed for 75 mph,” Mobley said. That’s like broadband infrastructure. How fast you’re “going” online at any given moment depends on the equipment you are using, the server you are accessing and how many people are in that same “lane.”
Factors like the age and hardware of devices used, or accessing wirelessly, make a huge difference in the “speed” of a connection.