Thursday, October 25, 2012

San Luis Valley Broadband Cooperative update: Yesterday (OCT 24, 2012) I attended the regular meeting of the San Luis Valley Cooperative in Alamosa. I was very pleased to hear of some of the new developments in broadband environment:

1. GoJade's fiber route from Walsenburg to Alamosa is complete. GoJade is also deploying new Canopy fixed wireless infrastructure that can deliver downloads of 90 Mbps!
2. CenturyLink's new route north out of the Valley will be complete soon.
3. Eaglenet's route along US 160 will mark the 6th middle mile route into the Valley constructed over the last two years
4. Crestone Telecom will add their 300th subsciber some time in the next few days which is the break even point for this 6-month old operation. This would have been very difficult without a $116,000 loan from the San Luis Valley Development and Resource Group. Work by Ralph and his team os on-going in Chaffee County in partnership with Skywerx.
5. San Luis Valley Rural Electric Cooperative will soon launch their strategic plan for fiber to the meter which includes a fiber to the home San Luis Valley wide (they are the electric provider for the the whole valley except for Alamosa). The fiber will be deployed as aerial fiber on power poles in an open access network. Fiber to the home is available in Costilla county from GoJade Communications.
SUMMARY AND ANALYSIS: 6 middle miles into the Valley could make it a hot spot for data centers and other high tech industries. This is especially true if some of the power generation initiatives can deliver very low cost electricity. The cooler temps in the Valley can also be attractive to the data center industry.
I note that fiber to the home Valley-wide as well as fixed wireless 90 Mbps downloads beats the Denver and Front Range communities where fiber to the home is not available and 100 Mbps downloads from the cable TV providers are available only in select communities.
Long story short: no other part of the country is improving their broadband environment as quickly as the San Luis Valley of Colorado!

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