Broadband Breakfast Insight: A great article detailing the way that a rural community, even in a sparsely-populated region of Colorado, is able to make an open-access network work for the communities and residents of the region. ->
Rio Blanco County Stays Relevant With Broadband, from Broadband Communities Magazine.
Colorado became a hotbed of community broadband activity several years ago when dozens of cities and counties began voting to override restrictive state legislation and take control of their broadband destinies. In November 2016 alone, 26 localities held broadband referenda; all 26 referenda passed, most of them by wide margins.
Rio Blanco County, a rural county in northwestern Colorado with a population of less than 7,000, held an override vote in 2014 and is now connecting customers to Rio Blanco Broadband, a network that will deliver fiber or wireless broadband access to nearly all premises. However, its story began much earlier, in 1999, when the school district in Meeker, the county seat, linked its buildings with fiber. Once the school network was up and running, the town of Meeker, the local library and the county hospital all requested to use the school district’s dark fiber – and the Meeker Metropolitan Area Network (Meeker MAN) was born. “It ran for a decade and a half, and we had an abnormal amount of IT cooperation,” says Blake Mobley, who was the IT director of the school district during that period.
In 2014, when the county decided to implement a modern broadband system, it recruited Mobley to be the county IT director because of his experience with the Meeker MAN. “It was the perfect storm,” Mobley says. “There was grassroots desire for broadband, the county commissioners were on board, the county had money to proceed and I had some experience with broadband.”
The county set a goal of obtaining the fastest internet access it could for as many people as it could and offering it at Google-type pricing ($70 for gigabit service). Formulating the policy goal in this way – rather than setting goals in terms of economic development or return on investment – was the first unique aspect of the project.
- Coronavirus Roundup: Fighting Against the Homework Gap, No Fixed Data Caps in U.K., Gigabit Libraries on Role in Pandemic
- FCC Praises $200 Million for Telemedicine, Outlines Process for Up To $1 Million in Aid Per Applicant
- Coronavirus Roundup: FCC Grants Waiver to WISPs, CenturyLink on USNS Mercy, Precursor on Techlash
- Coronavirus Roundup: FCC Extends Rural Health Care Deadlines, Public Knowledge Tracks Misinformation, AEI on Regulation
- Special Webcast from Broadband Breakfast Partner Gigabit Libraries on Friday, March 27 – What Is a Library if the Building is Closed?
Signup for Broadband Breakfast
China1 month ago
Tech Officials Diagnose Excessive Trump Actions as Product of ‘Huawei Derangement Syndrome’
Health4 weeks ago
Battling Coronavirus COVID-19, Broadband Could Provide Relief Although Telemedicine May Not Help
Section 2301 month ago
Attorney General Bill Barr Calls for ‘Recalibrated’ Section 230 as Justice Department Hosts Tech Immunity Workshop
Net Neutrality1 month ago
FCC Seeks Comment on Net Neutrality Issues Remanded by Appeals Court: Public Safety, Pole Attachments and Lifeline
Health2 weeks ago
Broadband Breakfast Live Online Will Stream Daily in March on ‘Broadband and the Coronavirus’
Artificial Intelligence1 month ago
U.S. Progress on AI and Quantum Computing Will Best China, Says CTO Michael Kratsios
Asia1 month ago
Broadband Roundup: Global Internet Censorship, Tribal Divide, Klobuchar on the Broadband Stump
Broadband Mapping & Data1 month ago
Poor Broadband Maps and Lack of a Consolidated Voice Hinder Advocacy for Better Rural Internet