Broadband ready to bring Collbran online

COLLBRAN, Colo. (KFQX) — Connecting to Zoom for school or a work meeting isn’t always the most pleasant experience, but not being able to connect to WIFI at all can upset your plans.

It may seem confusing that Collbran, a place where cows outnumber people, is first on Mesa County’s list to install broadband: “We always knew our service was weak, but I think the pandemic has brought it to the fore to let us know. how much and how much,” said Keith Todd, mayor of Collbran.

Gov. Jared Polis promises to bring broadband service to over 99% of Colorado in the next 4-5 years.

As Collbran Mayor Keith Todd told FOX 4, the pandemic has highlighted the lack of reliable and strong internet in rural communities in western Colorado. Mesa County Commissioners launch broadband project in Collbran in the Plateau Valley School District where during the pandemic students had to sit outside Main Street at the community library for WIFI .

Collbran isn’t the only community vital broadband service is headed to.

Courtesy of President Biden’s U.S. Bailout, Mesa County Commissioners are installing broadband access for a middle mile, countywide. “Mesa County has a whole county to focus on,” says Collbran City Manager Melaine Matarozzo. and our students having the same access.

The pandemic has forced many businesses and schools to work remotely, but in Collbran, a city without broadband, the recovery process felt like a dream: “We are still being impacted almost daily here by the lack of broadband,” said said Matarozzo.

All rural communities are struggling to get broadband, but you might be wondering why the county commissioners chose Collbran for the first installment? Part of the answer is that Collbran town leaders worked with senators and county commissioners in a joint effort to bring this project online: “Getting it here first isn’t necessarily the goal. , getting it here is the goal,” Matarozzo said.

To bring broadband to Collbran and the rest of Mesa County, the first step is to bring fiber from the I-70 Corridor from Beque to the Plateau Valley, but it doesn’t stop there: “The hub maybe in the town of Collbran, but as it branches out we want to connect,” Mayor Todd said.

The Collbran Broadband Project is slated to kick off this summer, and soon after the commissioners announce at FOX 4, even the remotest corners of Mesa County will have broadband.

Commissioner Cody Davis also explained that Collbran will be listed as a carrier-neutral location. Commissioners are looking to add more locations so private industries can then enter the Grand Valley and connect from these locations.

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