EAGLE-Net made it to Craig

Broadband access is expanding in Moffat County.

EAGLE-Net Alliance Regional Representative Dave Kavanaugh released a statement declaring that broadband fibers put in place in Craig are lit up and ready for use.

“EAGLE-Net is open for business to provide broadband services to government entities, Internet service providers and telecommunication carriers in Craig,” Kavanaugh said in a statement. “The providers and carriers are in the best position to take advantage of the EAGLE-Net open access middle-mile and help improve broadband in Moffat County to areas outside of Craig.”

This comes after more than 17 months of delays on a project that had been highly anticipated but ultimately criticized.

EAGLE-Net had promised to connect Colorado’s public schools with broadband, but were set back several times.

Kavanaugh said the project was held up partly because the entity overseeing EAGLE-Net’s grant opted out and transferred the grant to a different organization. That put them back about half a year, he said. Then they were held up again when they had to backtrack and check the environmental and historical impact of laying down fiber.

“We had to submit thousands of route miles. We lost a year out of the three-year program right there,” he said.

Then EAGLE-Net was suspended for what Kavanaugh called a “procedural error.” They had started seeking approval for permits out of order. That set them back another five months.

“That was an error; it was procedural but an error. Now you got 17 months of delays in a 36 month project,” he said.

Audrey Danner, interim director of Craig/Moffat Economic Development Partnership, has been a longtime proponent of bringing broadband to Moffat County.

“Fiber is an excellent infrastructure that we need in our community,” she said.

While Danner has expressed frustration with how EAGLE-Net has been set back regularly and hadn’t been following through with commitments, she said she is happy they have the fiber up and ready to go.

“I’m very pleased that we’re going to have additional fiber infrastructure in our community that we can connect into, not only for our school district, but for the presence of add infrastructure. That helps pricing,” she said.

EAGLE-Net was originally proposed as a project for public school, but the delays meant schools sought out different Internet service providers.

Superintendent of Moffat County School District Joe Petrone said he is excited that there will be a new service provider option, but that they will need to follow-through with contractual obligations with their existing provider.

“If we migrate there we will do so with care,” he said. EAGLE-Net is “one clear option that we’re eager to consider.”

Contact Erin Fenner at 970-875-1794 or efenner@craigdailypress.com.

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