Region 10 recently gained an important partner in the push to bring faster and affordable internet to the Western Slope. Delta-Montrose Electric Association (DMEA) has agreed to be listed as a partner for the beginning phase of a regional broadband network in the six-county region of Delta, Montrose, Gunnison, Hinsdale, Ouray, and San Miguel. Last month, the DMEA board voted unanimously to participate in an upcoming grant application with Region 10 by offering its available fiberoptic cables as a valuable contribution to the project.
DMEA is already in the process of building an internal network that combines all of its substations within its service area that extends into Delta and Montrose Counties. Region 10, based on consultation received from NEO Fiber, has identified this network as a vital component to the development of a regional broadband network.
DMEA’s fiberoptic network will be completed in about a year. Region 10, with the support of its board and its broadband steering committee, is offering to assist in the perfection of the easements necessary to allow commercial activity on the existing lines. In lieu of this, DMEA is offering access to its network to be leveraged for “middle mile” infrastructure. The network would extend to strategically located carrier neutral locations – which will be near anchor institutions like schools, fire stations, government offices, etc. – within each municipality.
Region 10 will be submitting a grant proposal to the Colorado Department of Local Affairs on April 1st to access additional funding for the development of this network. In addition to DMEA, the grant proposal will include the cities andtowns of Delta County and City of Montrose. This particular portion of fiber network represents the first phase of a broader regional network that will grow to include other counties within the region.