They are among a handful of companies in the industry with real-world experience in planning, community engagement, design/engineering, business modeling, financing, owning and operating fiber optic, wireless and FTTH networks–and now, they will be working to implement a blueprint for broadband in the six-county area served by Region 10. NEO Fiber, a national company based in Carbondale and Glenwood Springs, has been awarded the broadband blueprint implementation project through Region 10, and will begin work immediately with local stakeholders and regional providers.
“We see broadband as key to removing economic barriers for our region,” Region 10 Executive Director Michelle Haynes said. “Developing solutions to the broadband issue is essential as we move forward to serve our communities and our regional businesses. We are very pleased to have NEO Fiber on our team–they have worked across the country and have experience in finding different solutions.
“We feel they are the right company to help us in developing a broadband implementation plan and solutions.”
Said NEO Fiber CEO Diane Kruse, “NEO Fiber is thrilled to be working with Region 10 on this effort. Having access to advanced broadband services is critical for the economic development and growth of this region and has an enormous impact on healthcare, education, utility management, business and government services. We are big supporters of community and regional collaboration to improve broadband services and look forward to working with the key stakeholders of this region to put forward a plan.”
Region 10 worked with a committee of stakeholders who have helped drive the highly technical process forward, Region 10 Regional Development Coordinator Jay Stooksberry said.
“They helped us to identify the strongest, most comprehensive proposal and the most experienced team,” he said, noting that the regional blueprint is being funded through the Department of Local Affairs (DOLA), and should result in greater opportunities for smaller, regional service providers as well. The blueprint will be tailored to the needs of the different counties and municipalities.
“There is no one-size-fits-all approach,” Stooksberry said. “NEO Fiber is cognizant of this, and the process will be transparent and flexible as we look at the best options for each of our counties.”
To date, the project has been overseen by a stakeholder committee made up of representatives from Delta, Gunnison, San Miguel and Montrose counties, including Delta City Manager Justin Clifton.
“Bringing on a top-notch, Colorado-based consultant gets us one step closer to having the infrastructure we need for the 21st century economy,” Clifton said. “The fact that we’re doing this as region–working together for a common goal–is even more evidence that things are headed in the right direction.”
The first step for NEO Fiber will be visiting communities throughout the region, to discuss options, meet with local stakeholders and anchor institutions, and maintain open communication, Stooksberry said. A community meeting on the broadband blueprint has been scheduled at the Montrose City Council Chambers from 1 to 2:30 p.m. on Sept. 8.