DELTA COUNTY, Colo. - Region 10, the six-county council of governments representing both Delta and Montrose, was awarded a $1.2 million grant to help expand broadband services in rural communities-- hoping to secure higher- internet speeds and affordable access for all.
Region 10 says this grant will allow them to begin the first phase of regional network expansion in all Delta County communities and extend into Montrose.
"It's just as important for our current working environment in this day and age, and so we need to have adequate broadband services that businesses can operate in the way that they need to, and again we just see this as important as electricity was in the early part of the century, as far as being able to compete economically with the rest of the world," Region 10 executive director, Michelle Haynes said.
According to Haynes, broadband was identified as a primary economic barrier to all of the communities served by Region 10, which she says caused local businesses to either move or shut down completely.
"They want to stay here, their employees want to stay here, but if we don't improve it. I don't know if we can keep them here," Delta County executive director, Trish Thibodo said.
Hoping to break that barrier, officials are currently mapping out the anchor institutions, such as hospitals and fire departments, so they can place "carrier neutral locations" that can optimally serve all of the communities institutions.
"It's not just about streaming Netflix, which is nice to be able to do that. But it really is for business to operate these days its a basic infrastructure that we have to have," Thibodo said.
Officials with Region 10 are confident that the first implementation phase will be completed by the end of 2016.
To learn more about Region 10's broadband expansion plan you can head on over to region10.net/broadband.