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March 2016 Blog Hot Topic: DMEA Moves Forward with Broadband (Is that Good for Me?)

Confession time, I am proficient on my computer, pride myself knowing that I am very fast in productivity up and until my computer decides to slow down. For reasons beyond my understanding of this high tech world we’ve become, I’ve jumped on the bandwagon to support broadband even though I know little about what broadband is. (This statement may be giving out my age!)

DMEA (Delta Montrose Electric Association) is, in short, our electric company in Delta and Montrose Counties. They are upgrading their systems and running fiber optic throughout the counties. After much petitioning, pleading and begging from their customers, they agreed to build its own consumer broadband Internet service provider (ISP) network and business plan. They are one of two major players looking at doing this for our community (go to the Delta County Independent March 2, 2016 weekly newspaper for complete article). This is exciting news for many of us. For a long time, community leaders have been saying that other industries and businesses would not be attracted to our area because of our poor Internet service capacity. Well folks, with this great news, then that must mean new businesses are headed our way! Of course, we’ll have to wait for the City of Delta to decide which direction they’re going to take and the EPA decide how long it’ll take them to deal with the hook-less cactus in Cedaredge and of course, DMEA obtaining enough consumer commitments to start the process in those particular areas.

I’m optimistic about this as forward movement is better than just sitting on our hands (lest we raise them in support of any forward thinking or movement) and letting the rest of the world grow, prosper and advance with high tech services. Thus, why I thought this topic would make a good blog post. Then I questioned myself on what I really knew about broadband and how was I remotely qualified to write on such a technical subject? Don’t you just love Google? So I asked him and here is an excerpt of easy to understand definitions of the various types of Internet services. For the long version article, go to: What's My IP.

Broadband Internet service truly is the most used form of Internet access because of its high access speeds; it is offered in four different forms, DSL (or Digital Subscriber Line), also fiber-optic, cable, and satellite. The old dial-up connection is the only non-broadband Internet service available, and even though it is cheaper, most Internet users are moving towards the faster broadband Internet connection.

The DSL (or Digital Subscriber Line) Internet service makes its connection by utilizing unused telephone wires that cause no interruption to your telephone service. The speed you experience with a DSL connection varies with your distance from the switching station. Your speed will be slower the further away you are and faster the closer you are to the switching station and this may be a deciding factor when you attempt to select between a DSL line and a cable connection.

The broadband cable connection is provided by the local cable TV provider. Here the cable Internet connection speed varies with the number of users on the service at a specific point in time. Given a specific geographical area, users of the broadband cable service share the connection bandwidth which slows the speed the more users are on the system. This will occur at the peak times for example late in the evenings after the work day is over when many people will be accessing the Internet. Somewhat misleadingly, often the cable company would estimate connection speeds that are based on the thinking that you are using the service. But that is clearly not the case.

The newest broadband service is fiber-optic, which is the fastest Internet connection thus far. However, this type of Internet service is still in its infancy as its service areas are quite limited and because the laying down of the fiber-optic cable takes a while to complete. Wherever it is available, the cost not only competes with that of DSL and cable, but it provides a much faster connection than both of those services.

The last and slowest broadband service is provided by satellite. Although this is a good replacement for dial-up for those people living in remote rural areas, the installation costs are quite high, but the ongoing monthly charges are competitive to both cable and DSL.

For me, this helped get a clearer picture – Fiber Optic is the way to go and I will be the first in line to sign up for this for both my office and my home. The more consumers who sign up the sooner we’ll all be on the bandwagon enjoying high-speed internet. Your kids will LOVE you! They’ll be able to stream videos and games like crazy! For me, it’ll help attract new businesses to our area, creating more high paying jobs which will bring in new consumers needing our products and services. Yes, this is a great thing for our area and I encourage everyone to jump on now to get the momentum moving warp speed!

Written by:
Lucinda Stanley, CCIM
Grand Mesa Commercial Real Estate

Contact Lucinda in Delta, Colorado for additional information pertaining to her blogs.