MARCH 31, 2017 – Elevate Fiber, powered by DMEA, kicked off in-home installations in Orchard City last week. This is the second zone within DMEA’s service territory to have access to Elevate’s fiber network and gigabit internet speeds. Last fall, a portion of Paonia became the first area to receive service from Elevate. Now, more than 500 customers are surfing, streaming, working, and playing on the fastest internet connection in town.
“Our biggest challenge is patience. Even though we launched Elevate just 10 months ago, we have more 6,000 preregistrations and 500 live customers. The DMEA membership has spoken loud and clear—they want faster and more reliable internet and they want it now. It will take years to build to everyone who wants it, but the passion, support, and patience of our members will get us through the long haul,” said DMEA CEO, Jasen Bronec.
Elevate Fiber is a wholly-owned subsidiary of DMEA, the local electric cooperative serving Montrose and Delta counties. Elevate is building a fiber network from the ground up bringing gigabit internet to the homes and businesses in rural western Colorado. The network is not just backed by fiber, it will bring fiber right into member homes and businesses. In order to build more than 3,000 miles of fiber optic cable, the construction will take place in a phased approach—building only where enough interest is expressed to sustain the project into the future.
“Plain and simple: our members will help dictate when and where Elevate builds. The DMEA service territory is divided into 50 zones. Each zone follows a particular power line path and requires a certain number of customers to preregister for Elevate. Once a zone reaches their preregistration goal, we can release the area for final design and construction. This is truly a cooperative effort,” explained Bronec.
Elevate Fiber is seeing high interest across DMEA’s service territory with communities in the North Fork Valley still leading the charge. Zones in both Hotchkiss and Poania are close to meeting their goal and if interest levels continue, these areas should have fiber this summer. An area in Montrose is also slated to receive Elevate this spring. Montrose 721, a zone in south Montrose around Chipeta Road and Cobble Creek, was quick to reach its preregistration goal near the end of 2016. Elevate is finalizing the network design and make-ready work and plans to begin installing live service here in April. Check out the status of your zone and the rest of the region at join.elevatefiber.com.
“We realize that asking people to sign up for a service that isn’t available yet is hard. That’s why we’re excited to begin our deployment into Montrose. With live service up and running, people will be able experience the real advantages of Elevate. Whether you’re looking for better speeds or reliability, our service is first-rate. It’s coming Montrose: Don’t miss out,” said Bronec.
Elevate’s service offerings at this time include a 100 Mbps (megabits per second) internet option, 1 Gig (1,000 Mbps) internet option, and a voice solution. Elevate is exploring a future video (TV) offering that will bring local channels and streaming solutions to members at a lower price compared to traditional cable/dish offerings. In addition to the advanced speed offerings, fiber brings along many other benefits:
- MORE RELIABLE. Fiber guarantees the most reliable high-quality connection—less affected by weather and other elements.
- SUPER-FAST INTERNET SPEEDS. Access to the fastest speeds—up to 1 Gig (1,000 megabits per second). There is no other provider offering speeds up to 1 Gig or even 100 Mbps in the area—Elevate's basic package is 100 Mbps.
- BETTER EXPERIENCE. With 1 Gig you can download a 2-hour HD movie in 25 seconds, download a 9-hour audiobook in under a second, and so much more.
- FUTURE-PROOF. The fiber optic cables installed today are considered 'future-proof' and will be able to handle increased data loads as the need for more and more speed grows.
- MORE THAN INTERNET. Elevate plans to deliver voice service and video (TV) service over the same connection. The voice offering will operate the same as your local telephone service but includes unlimited long distance and advanced calling features. Elevate also hopes to offer a video (TV) service in the future that will be an affordable option giving access to local channels and popular streaming solutions for one low price.
- PROPERTY VALUE. Fiber tends to increase property values by as much as $5,000 per property (value provided by RVA, LLC home owner and developer survey and research commissioned by the FTTH Council).
- COMMUNITY GROWTH. When businesses look for a start-up location or a new office they have to consider the technology available. Having fiber, especially with speeds up to 1 Gig, will aid greatly in attracting new businesses, which in turn will help job opportunity.
- THE FUTURE. Elevate and DMEA members are building the future together—a reliable fiber network to every community will ensure all communities are ready for new technologies and that every home and business has a reliable and extremely fast connection to the internet.
Above: Dakota Cole, Elevate fiber optic specialist, connects the live exterior fiber cable to the home fiber cable using a fusion splicer. The equipment on the outside of the home, called a demarcation box, will protect this connection and serve as a convenient location for troubleshooting if the need arises. Photo by Phil Sanchez, DMEA communications specialist.
Above: Ray Saenz and Joel Wilkes, Elevate fiber install specialists, run a fiber cable to the where it enters the home. Elevate will build fiber directly to homes and business making the network more reliable and less prone to weather interruptions. Photo by Phil Sanchez, DMEA communications specialist.