Next generation of broadband hits Craig from High Rapid Networks |

Next generation of broadband hits Craig from High Rapid Networks

More works still needs to be done on broadband, officials say

Sasha Nelson

— A new business is bringing 21st-century broadband technology to Craig and Moffat County, although leaders of the local broadband initiative believe that the area still has work to do.

“We are here to take care of this community,” said Owner of High Rapid Networks Kelton Rochelle. “We want to be a local business for the community.

High Rapid Networks is using state of the art fiber provided by wholesalers — middle mile companies — to bring high-speed broadband to Craig and Moffat County. As a last mile provider, they connect individuals and businesses using next-generation wireless technology.

“We have five guys and we are growing fast with over 200 site surveys and we are already looking to hire more people,” said Brandon Brent, operations manager for High Rapid Networks.

The company selected Craig because the area had a need for broadband services and Rochelle and Brent enjoy all the area has to offer.

“I love rural, and I love the mountains and it doesn’t get much more beautiful than Northwest Colorado,” Brent said. “We imagine the community becoming a tech business hub.”

The fiber they use is a redundant loop that travels through Craig, loops back to Steamboat and down to Meeker before reaching the I-70 corridor, so that if one fiber line gets cut services won’t go down, Brent said.

Their service connects to data centers in Denver and Salt Lake City. They plan to expand to add another data center in Phoenix, Arizona, creating Internet connection redundancy.

“We pick up popular carriers, blend them and send them all back to Craig. That way if a carrier goes down it’s picked up by another,” Brent said.

Service partners finished laying the high capacity 10-gigabyte fiber optic lines to Craig at the end of March, just after the release of the Moffat County Strategic Broadband Plan.

Kelton and his team started to build relationships with the city, county, and other entities working on the implementation of the broadband plan.

“Working with our key partners, we built a three-year plan to get us started. I think we are going to look at what resources are existing and what private providers are willing to build and then we would fill in the gaps,” said Michelle Balleck, Craig Moffat Economic Development Partnership executive director.

Contact Sasha Nelson at 970-875-1794 or Contact Sasha Nelson at 970-875-1794 or or follow her on Twitter @CDP_Education.

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