Michelle Perry: Moving broadband to the next step | CraigDailyPress.com

Michelle Perry: Moving broadband to the next step

Michelle Perry/For Craig Press

Michelle Perry

The Moffat County Broadband Initiative is moving forward as we near the completion of phase one and prepare for the submission of grant applications.

It's time for an update on our progress and what's coming for our community.

In April, I wrote about the city of Craig entering the phase-one contract with Visionary Communications, Inc., doing business as Mammoth Networks, for the design and engineering of the county-wide network.

Our partners at Mammoth Networks are currently completing the scope of work in phase one and will present the results during a Craig City Council workshop at 4:30 p.m. July 10 at Craig City Hall.

The city of Craig and Moffat County are partnering with Craig/Moffat Economic Development Partnership to lead local broadband implementation, and CMEDP has financial support from these three entities, plus Memorial Regional Health, Colorado Northwestern Community College, Moffat County School District and Moffat County Local Marketing District to drive the process forward.

The city of Craig will be the network owner and fiscal agent for the project. Mammoth will serve as the network operator, negotiating contracts and overseeing the development, maintenance and operations of the project.

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On July 10, we will unveil Mammoth's proposed design for the project, as well as the business plan for how to city will operate the network.

The goal of the project is to build a hybrid fiber and wireless network that utilizes existing resources and new infrastructure to ensure access to reliable, affordable and redundant internet service for our community anchor institutions, businesses and residents.

With the completion of this design and engineering phase, our community is now poised to submit grant applications to the state and federal government programs that are putting substantial resources behind rural broadband buildouts. Our intention is to apply for grants from Colorado Department of Local Affairs and U.S. Economic Development Administration with modest local match dollars to fund the construction phase.

I am eager to share the work Mammoth Networks has been doing on our local project and also share our participation in the regional broadband project with our partners and the community on July 10. Meanwhile, I am focused on developing the grant applications to move this critical infrastructure development forward for Craig and Moffat County.

I welcome your questions and feedback on the broadband project and hope you'll continue to support this initiative, which will have lasting impacts on our economic future.

Michelle Perry is the executive director of Craig/Moffat Economic Development Partnership and Marianna Raftopoulos Business Success Center. She can be reached at 970-620-4370 or director@cmedp.com.