Broadband

internet, broadband
Laura Palmisano / KVNF

The Delta Montrose Electrical Association made a big decision this week about its plans for fiber optic internet.

DMEA's board of directors voted Tuesday night to get into the internet business. The electrical co-op has been considering high-speed, fiber optic internet for a while, but now they are officially going for it.

Paonia, North Fork Valley
Steve Huntley

It’s estimated 7.8 million people will live in Colorado by the year 2040. A Rocky Mountain PBS I-News analysis of data from the state demographer and the U.S. Census Bureau shows, seven of the 10 fastest growing counties will be on the Western Slope, including Garfield and Montrose. 

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vote, flag, voting
Laura Palmisano / KVNF

Voters across the Western Slope overwhelming approved broadband measures. 

Communities across the region asked residents to opt-out of Senate Bill 152. The decade-old state law prevents local governments from providing internet services or spending money on broadband infrastructure unless residents overturn it.  

Voters in Gunnison, Delta and Ouray Counties approved opt-out measures. Residents in Crested Butte, Paonia, Hotchkiss, Crawford, Cedaredge, Delta, Ridgway, Ouray and Telluride also passed similar ballot issues.  

internet, broadband
Laura Palmisano / KVNF

Governments and organizations across the Western Slope say slow and unreliable broadband is hindering economic development. That’s why communities across the region want voter support this fall on measures that would allow them to try and address the issue. 

Economy, North Fork Valley, economic development
Laura Palmisano / KVNF

Two Colorado communities hard-hit by the downturn in the coal industry received federal grants last week to help diversify their economies.

The Obama administration awarded Region 10, an organization of six counties on the Western Slope, a $1.2 million grant. Moffat County also got $50,000.

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vote, flag, voting
Laura Palmisano / KVNF

Voters in Cedaredge will decide on two ballot questions this November. The town’s board of trustees unanimously approved the items last week.  

The first question deals with Senate Bill 152. It’s a decade old state law that prevents local governments from providing internet service to residents unless the people over turn it. 

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Irv Halter
Laura Palmisano / KVNF

A lack of access to high-speed internet is an issue for rural communities in western Colorado. 


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fiber optic cable
Laura Palmisano / KVNF

Region 10 received $5.2 million grant from the state to develop better broadband access on the Western Slope. 


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In the April 2015 edition Ali Lightfoot speaks with district 1 commissioner Doug Atchley about new efforts to provide broadband, the local economy and a surge in robberies in Delta county.

fiber optic cable
Laura Palmisano / KVNF

The Delta Montrose Electric Association is a cooperative meaning its customers are its owners.

DMEA wants to hear what its consumers think about its desire to purchase more locally produced energy and it potentially entering the internet service game. 

Two months ago, DMEA filed a petition with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). 

"What we are asking FERC to rule on is to declare Tri-State a public utility which would allow us then to enter into agreements with qualifying facilities,"  DMEA CEO Jasen Bronec says.

Kansas City has some of the Internet's best service anywhere. Providers there jostle for customers who can now expect broadband that's about 100 times faster than the national average.

But, four years after Google Fiber landed in Kansas City, people are still trying to figure out just what to do with all that speed.

Kansas City's a modest, Midwestern place. Residents are proud of their barbecue and baseball team. But Aaron Deacon says that now there's something else: inexpensive, world-class Internet.

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fiber optic cable
Laura Palmisano / KVNF

High speed internet is a priority for many businesses and individuals on the Western Slope.

Updated at 4:48 p.m. ET

President Obama is expected to lay out plans today intended to make it easier for cities, towns and rural communities to offer their citizens fast and cheap broadband Internet.

Economy, North Fork Valley, economic development
Laura Palmisano / KVNF

Business and community leaders in Delta County’s North Fork Valley say Paonia, Crawford, and Hotchkiss need an economic boost. They recently held a forum on the North Fork Valley’s economy and what can be done to improve it.

About 100 people attended the forum in Paonia last week.

They came to hear different perspectives on the local economy, what’s working and what’s not, and how to make things better.

Hive Paonia
Laura Palmisano

About 100 people attended a forum on the North Fork Valley's economy and what can be done to improve it. 

Thirteen people ranging from the president of a coal mine to the head of the Paonia Chamber of Commerce spoke at the forum held at the Hive Paonia. 

"We have our farms," says Alexis Halbert, president of the chamber. "We have our hunting resources. We have are restaurants, wineries, [and] people who are creating things out of the natural assets of the valley."

To everyone reading this story: This is not about you. This is about the 4.4 billion other people on this planet who have never been online.

fiber optic cable
Laura Palmisano / KVNF

A lack of access to high-speed internet is an issue for rural communities on the Western Slope.

Region 10, an organization of governments that serves the area, is trying to address this problem.

The organization recently got a $100,000 grant from the Colorado Department of Local Affairs to make a proposal on how to improve broadband access in six counties: Delta, Gunnison, Hinsdale, Montrose, Ouray, and San Miguel.

There’s often a divide between Colorado’s rural lawmakers and those representing larger communities along the urban Front Range. That dynamic was apparent during the 2014 legislative session with Republicans routinely blaming Democrats for waging what they said is a "war on rural Colorado."

People living in many parts of rural Colorado still don’t have access to high speed Internet. It’s a problem for schools and businesses, and in eastern Colorado it is making it harder for farmers to take full advantage of the latest technology even as state lawmakers passed legislation to try and even the playing field.

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