Innovation + Technology Update – August 2021 CCL CEO Article
By Jim Herron, MVEA CEO
By now, many of you may have heard about Mountain View Electric Association’s June 21 public announcement that we are partnering with Conexon Connect to bring access to high-speed fiber broadband internet to 100% of MVEA’s membership. As this is currently the largest broadband project in Colorado, and it will have a profoundly positive impact on the communities that we serve, we invited members of the media, elected officials, and community leaders to attend “Closing the Digital Divide” kickoff events in Black Forest and Limon. From MVEA and Conexon Connect leadership to Colorado State senators and representatives, one theme was shared by all of those who spoke: access to high-speed internet is no longer a luxury, it is a necessity.
“Access to fast, reliable internet is important for our economy and Colorado families. From helping a student log on for virtual learning to powering a conference call for Colorado’s small businesses helping them reach new customers and markets, universal broadband connects us all,” shared Gov. Jared Polis. “I’m thrilled to see this partnership between MVEA and Conexon Connect come to life as it will transform central Colorado’s ability to connect within the state and across the world.”
It may be surprising to some, but this is a project that has been over 25 years in the making! MVEA has long sought a partner with whom to develop and deploy a broadband network to better serve our co-op communities. The partnership with Conexon Connect is a model that fits the needs of the cooperative, benefits the members, and received unanimous support from the MVEA Board of Directors.
Under the partnership, design and construction of the fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) network will be led by Conexon, with the network managed and operated by Connect, powered by Mountain View Electric Association. The first Conexon Connect customers will be connected as early as the second quarter of
2022. Together, MVEA and Conexon Connect are committed to build the approximately $190 million network. It will enable MVEA members to access a world-class fiber broadband network without electric rate adjustments to subsidize the buildout or deployment.
The entire FTTH buildout, encompassing nearly 5,800 miles of fiber, will ultimately reach all of MVEA’s members in portions of Arapahoe, Crowley, Douglas, Elbert, El Paso, Lincoln, Pueblo, and Washington counties within five to six years. MVEA members will have access to a competitively priced FTTH broadband network with speeds and reliability that rival (or exceed) services available in major urban centers.
In 1941, MVEA’s first members gathered at the Black Forest Community Center and made the decision to form an electric co-op. Eighty years later, and we now serve more than 51,000 members and over 60,000 meters across a 5,000 square-mile service territory. We are proof that small groups of people can make a significant impact on their community for generations to follow. It is a legacy we are proud of, and one that we look forward to continuing as we partner with Conexon Connect to close the digital divide by bringing world-class FTTH broadband internet to our membership.
We are sure you have questions about this exciting project, and invite you to explore the “Broadband” section on our website. for answers to frequently asked questions, the kickoff event press release, a highlight video of the events, and to visit the Conexon Connect website to pre-register and to receive service updates.
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