Statewide Effort Kicks Off Major Construction for One of Nation’s Largest Broadband Programs
Denver, Colo. — April 16, 2012 — Gov. John Hickenlooper, the EAGLE-Net Alliance and Anna Gomez of the National Telecommunications Information Administration (NTIA) today announced the official kickoff of a project that will, when completed in August 2013, create a 4,600 mile network providing access to high-speed broadband Internet access and transport services for schools, libraries, healthcare facilities and government offices statewide.
While the broadband network will benefit government agencies, emergency services, libraries and healthcare facilities with enhanced data transfer capabilities, school districts might be the program’s greatest benefactor.
“To be competitive with neighboring states and the nation, all of our communities need to have affordable access to the Internet. Our project will go a long way in making broadband accessible statewide,” said Randy Zila, EAGLE-Net CEO. Zila continued, “By the time we complete this project, we will have built a broadband infrastructure that can serve more than 170 communities across Colorado.”
EAGLE-Net will soon start building the lateral connections linking community anchor institutions to the peering ring – the network’s central core being activated this week. Launching this ring, which loops around the state, makes it possible to connect the network’s fiber lines that branch out in all directions from the network’s central core to provide services statewide.
Funding for network construction comes from a $100.6 million Broadband Technology Opportunities Program infrastructure grant, plus over $30 million in matching funds and services from private and public entities throughout Colorado. Colorado’s grant is the fifth largest award of its kind nationally.
• Colorado schools average about 55 percent of the national average when it comes to Internet bandwidth per student, meaning less time online.
• At the height of the construction season, there will be 25-35 crews in the field with at least 150-200 people working on the project.
• EAGLE-Net is building what’s known as the middle mile, or the section of the EAGLE-Net network between the core and last mile connections provided by local and independent service providers. Middle mile facilities range from a few miles to a few hundred miles in length.
• The EAGLE-Net network combines more than 1,600 miles of existing dark fiber infrastructure (fiber optic cable that’s already installed but not in use), new fiber optic cable, and wireless technology to carry broadband signals.
For more information on this project, go to http://www.co-eaglenet.net.