High Speed Broadband is a reality for Delta County! DCED recognizes that affordable, reliable and fast broadband is not a luxury; it's a necessity. Affordable broadband is a building block for healthy communities. Delta County was being left behind which put our economic future at grave risk - but no more!  Due to leadership through the county, DCED, Region 10 and Delta Montrose Electric Association affordable, reliable and high-speed broadband is now available in parts of Delta County, with more communities coming on line.  Region 10 is working to bring the middle mile infrastructure to each of our communities. Delta Montrose Electric Association (DMEA), our rural electric co-op through Elevate Fiber is building fiber to the premise throughout their service area, bringing world-class gigabit service to Delta County.  

Why Broadband - Why Now

Wait!  I have Internet, don’t I have broadband?  No, most of Delta County does not have broadband Internet.  Subscribing to Internet service that clocks in at less than 25 Mbps is no longer considered "broadband".

Affordable, reliable and high-speed broadband is not a luxury; it's a necessity. High speed broadband is a building block for healthy communities. Research shows that that high-performance broadband network usage correlates with economic growth in rural America: low levels of broadband adoption, providers and availability are associated with lower median household income, higher levels of poverty and decreased number of firms and total employment. (Rural Broadband Availability and Adoption: Evidence, Policy Challenges, and Options  By , and , March 2013)

Currently Delta is being left behind which puts our economic future at grave risk

  • Without it we will have fewer jobs.
  • Without it we will be known as an area without normal communication channels that are expected by employers and job seekers and for businesses to bring goods to the market.
  • Broadband is a fundamental consumer need and rural communities are being left behind, just as it was in early last century when rural communities did not have access to electricity – which birthed rural electrical coops.
  • Fiber to the home/business is not just for streaming Netflix but rather is a critical component to health care, education, public safety, agriculture, government and daily business operations.

Why the Community Needs Affordable High Speed Broadband Internet

  • Many older Americans are looking forward to “aging in place” and staying in their homes as they get older. Aging in place can be especially challenging because of the lack of transportation, the scarcity of doctors, and fewer at-home services. Telemedicine will be one of the key factors in allowing more seniors to comfortably and safely live in their own homes.
  • Due to our location, it is imperative to operate cutting‐edge, public safety wireless broadband networks that are reliable and able to communicate with other local, regional and national first responders.
  • Many local businesses need high-speed broadband to operate competitively.
  • In education, broadband provides rural communities with the option for virtual instruction to fill the gap between educational needs and availability.
  • Rural communities can bridge the gap between health care availability and rural patients’ needs through the use of broadband‐enabled solutions. Health information technologies can assist health care practitioners to serve patients more effectively and efficiently.
  • Agriculture is a technology‐intensive industry. Technological advances over the past several decades have allowed farmers to reduce costs, increase efficiency and productivity, and tap into markets that were previously unattainable.
  • 17 Oct 2016 1:13 PM | Anonymous

    Elevate Fiber, powered by DMEA, is getting ready to light up Paonia with gigabit service.  The first installations will take place in downtown on Grand Ave. The City of Delta is quickly installing the infrastructure for the middle mile service for fiber, which should be lit early 2017.   These are exciting steps forward in bringing world-class broadband to our rural community and sets us apart from many areas in the nation.

  • 22 Apr 2016 12:24 PM | Anonymous

    John Gavan, DCED Board Member, gave a broadband update at our Annual Membership Meeting on April 21, 2016.  He reviewed the status of the DMEA Fiber to the Premise Project and the positive economic impact of bringing gigabit service to Delta County.  A copy of his presentation is found here: DCED - Broadband Update 042116.pdf

  • 03 Nov 2015 1:06 PM | Anonymous

    Region 10 applied for and received an additional $1.2 million dollars to help with building the broadband infrastructure though the six county region (including Delta). This is in addition to the $5.2 million dollar DOLA grant received this summer.  Delta County is the first county in Region 10 to begin a countywide initiative in building the "middle mile" of broadband infrastructure to bring fast, redundant and affordable high speed internet into our communities.  Click here to see recent news coverage on the new grant.

  • 21 Sep 2015 3:43 PM | Anonymous

    DCED is working with partners, Region 10 and DMEA, to bring high-speed broadband internet to Delta County.  Delta County and City of Montrose were recently awarded a $5.2 million dollar DOLA grant to construct the "middle mile" in bringing broadband to our communities. As part of the development and building of the "middle mile" and "last mile", Delta County Cedaredge, City of Delta, Hotchkiss and Paonia have put Opting Out of SB05-152 on the ballot for this upcoming November election. Local governments are doing this to have all options available to them in the building of this infrastructure.

    In a nutshell, Colorado Senate Bill 152, passed in 2005, prohibits most uses of municipal or county funds for infrastructure to improve local broadband service, without first going to a vote of the people to let your town opt-out of SB-152. 

    The current Colorado SB-152 law limits the ability of Colorado towns to provide a broad spectrum of services and it defines those high-speed internet as 256 kbps (when in current day broadband is defined at 25 Mbps download speed and 4 Mbps upload speed). The law limits local governments from:

       Providing free Internet service over 256 Kbps  in city libraries, parks and community centers or other public outdoor spaces;

    Investing in broadband networks directly or indirectly.   

     Partnering with private businesses and leveraging government infrastructure to provide affordable and high-speed Internet service throughout the entire community; and

       Direct provision of broadband services by municipal governments.

    More and more local governments are looking to use public dollars to improve broadband infrastructure.  When towns and cities have put Opt Out of SB-152 on the ballot they have passed with a resounding yes and strong majority.

          The vast majority of local governments who have passed the SB152 question ARE NOT interested in providing actual broadband services themselves. 

          BUT INSTEAD local governments have put it to the vote of the citizens so they can enhance local broadband infrastructure. 

    For example:  This would allow – if needed – towns to begin exploring options to make its assets available to serve the broadband needs of the residents and businesses, most likely through a public-private partnership.

    Rural areas of Colorado are the least served by broadband services do to population and geography, and we are the most in need of broadband services for economic development.  

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