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Eight counties band together to boost broadband access
The Mountain iJournals

Eight counties band together to boost broadband access

Officials urge residents to take survey

Pitkin County is part of a regional effort that officials say could greatly improve local and regional broadband service.

The effort, spearheaded by the Northwest Colorado Council of Governments (NWCCOG), is focused on improving access to broadband for an eight county area, consisting of Eagle, Garfield, Grand, Jackson, Moffat, Pitkin, Rio Blanco, Routt, and Summit counties, the city of Glenwood Springs and town of Carbondale.

Local officials agree that there is a deficiency in broadband connection in the mountains, and the infrastructure necessary to make high-speed internet possible here. According to Broadband Project Consultant Paul Recanzone, Colorado’s northwest region has reportedly fallen behind its neighbors in terms of broadband performance and is mediocre compared to its Front Range counterparts in terms of broadband speeds, reliability and costs.

Pitkin County officials are encouraging community members to complete a short survey to help build an information base for a plan that will help the region leverage sufficient access to broadband. The survey can be found Pitkin County’s website homepage under “Community” by clicking on “Take the Broadband Survey.”

“The survey asks questions that some people may have privacy concerns about and we want to assure survey participants that their information will be confidential and not publically shared,” Recanzone said.

Questions include home and/or business address, who your current Internet provider is, and what your data speed is.

Pitkin County Assistant Manager Phylis Mattice, who sits on the regional steering committee for the broadband effort, says the goal is to develop a blueprint outlining action steps local governments can take to improve access to broadband in the region.

“Access to broadband services to connect to the Internet and other online services is critically important to the economic development and quality of life in Pitkin County,” Mattice said. “This eight-county effort will give us the combined muscle we need to take action to improve our access to broadband locally and across the region.”

The project is funded by a grant from the Colorado Department of Local Affairs' Energy and Mineral Impact Assistance Fund.
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