NC Telecom says project almost complete

The end is in site for NC Telecom and the last leg of a high-speed telecommunications project covering Moffat, Routt and Rio Blanco counties, NC Telecom's Rick Heming told a meeting of the Yampa Valley Economic Development Council Wednesday.

Heming, a sales engineer and marketing coordinator with the company, said all entities involved in the two-year-old Beanpole project would receive a status report in early December on whether work will be wrapped up by the Dec. 20 contracted completion date.

"I think we can do it, although we're on a very tight schedule," he said, pointing to possible completion dates between Dec. 15-20.

"It's going to happen and we're really happy about it coming

to conclusion."

With all 125 miles of fiber ready to go between Craig, Steamboat Springs, Meeker and Rangely, Heming, after the meeting, said Qwest Communications, as of last week, had turned central offices over to NC Telecom in all the respective cities waiting for the hook-up.

Between now and Dec. 20, Heming said crews still need to connect call routing equipment for the high-tech communications to fiber lines at all the former Qwest buildings.

"All the lines just come up into buildings now," he said.

But the targeted Dec. 20 completion is within reach, he said.

"What it's going to boil down to is if everything goes as smoothly as it can," Hemming said.

Still, despite the contract's specified Dec. 20 completion date, Heming said missing it wouldn't

be a disaster.

"The reality is it doesn't matter if it goes in Dec. 1 or Dec. 31, just as long as it's not going in March 31," he said. "The consequences (missing Dec. 20 date) will be a disappointment. There are no monetary consequences."

YVEDC selected NC Telecom as the preferred provider for the project in September 2000, opting to spend $755,000 in state grant funds for the high-speed Internet project, connecting locally to Moffat County offices, the city of Craig, The Memorial Hospital, Moffat County Schools, Colorado Northwestern Community College and the library.

Two other bidders for the project were AT&T and Qwest.

Paul Shockley can be reached at 824-7031 or at pshockley@craigdailypress.com.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.