Effort Underway To Boost Broadband Service In Rural Colorado

SILVERTHORNE, Colo. (CBS4) – Residents in rural Colorado could soon have better cellphone coverage and internet services.

There’s an effort to improve broadband and wireless services to help those communities and draw new businesses in.

Effort Underway To Boost Broadband Service In Rural Colorado

Rural Colorado community (credit: CBS)

Hundreds of technology experts and local government leaders came together recently for a broadband development conference.

“It doesn’t matter if you’re living in Denver or you’re living in Durango, where I live, there should be balance,” says Jeffrey Gavlinski, co-chair of Mountain Connect.

Effort Underway To Boost Broadband Service In Rural Colorado

Jeffrey Gavlinski (credit: CBS)

City councilors in Grand Junction say internet and cell service are easy to take for granted.

“One of the things that’s necessary in those communities in order to keep surviving is development in technology infrastructure,” says Grand Junction City Council Chris Kennedy. Kennedy is a rural broadband project director.

Effort Underway To Boost Broadband Service In Rural Colorado

Grand Junction City Councilor Chris Kennedy (credit: CBS)

“Those networks just aren’t there. They’re not fully evolved. They’re not fully constructed. They’re not available in many rural communities,” says Kennedy.

This means places like Delta County, towns in southwestern Colorado can’t draw new businesses who rely on that connectivity. Developers are looking at new solutions to solve the problem.

Effort Underway To Boost Broadband Service In Rural Colorado

(credit: CBS)

“Where you can’t put fiber, we can put wireless and it can still make a big difference,” says Gavlinski. It’s expected to be a slow and expensive process to link all of the state with high-speed broadband service.

“It’s about letting people choose where they want to live, work and play and not have the broadband question be the deciding factor.

It’s to equal the playing field,” says Kennedy.

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