Frequently Asked Questions

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About Trailblazer Broadband

    • Absolutely. We understand that your needs at a business level are unique and often more complex than those of residential service. As we build out your location, our Customer Experience Manager, Kim Smith, will be working one-on-one with businesses to define their needs and propose the correct solution. Contact Kim at [email protected]

    • Fiber is significantly better than 5G in numerous ways. It is not possible to build a gigabit class 5G network without first building a fiber network in Estes Park. A gigabit class 5G network will require fiber to every neighborhood and antennas within a maximum of 1000 feet from anywhere service is required. Such a fiber network is effectively a fiber-to-the-home network.

      Fiber internet also performs significantly better than all existing and proposed satellite internet options in almost every way. Satellite internet serves customers who have no other available internet options, however by building a fiber-optic infrastructure, the Town of Estes Park is able to offer internet service with significantly better speed, reliability, and latency (speeds for loading data).

    • Residents and businesses of Estes Park have expressed a need for faster, more reliable internet. Most recently, our 2018 scientific survey told us that two-thirds of respondents wanted the Town to provide better internet service, their highest priority among 40 current and potential services. Private companies are unlikely to bring fiber-optic internet to Estes Park and surrounding areas due to the large up-front investment associated with the project.

      In addition to faster, more reliable internet, Trailblazer Broadband service is an investment in the community. By investing in its own broadband service, the Town of Estes Park is keeping dollars in the community while also creating jobs and ensuring high-quality local support through Estes Park Power & Communications.

    • The Town of Estes Park is establishing community owned and operated broadband service, Trailblazer Broadband, a high-speed internet service that will ultimately be available to everyone served by Estes Park Power and Communications.

    • Broadband, by definition, is high-speed internet. Trailblazer Broadband service will be delivered over fiber-optic lines, resulting in more reliable service that is up to 100 times faster than existing options in the area.

      – With fiber-optic broadband, multiple people are able to use the same internet connection without a loss of speed or connectivity.

      – At home, residents will be able to work with ease, video chat with remote friends and family, stream movies, play games or music and much more.

      – Local businesses will enjoy quicker uploads, downloads, increased cloud-based functionality, better collaboration with co-workers and clients and more reliable video-conferencing.

      – Estes Park visitors will have more reliable internet to enjoy their favorite entertainment and check in with work while they are visiting.

    • We will build this fiber network anyway because our electric SmartGrid requires it and it is required to meet our renewable energy goals.

    • In March 2019, the Town Board approved the launch and initial funding of the community-owned and operated broadband service. The initial startup phase will take advantage of Estes Park Power and Communication’s Smart Grid fiber optics infrastructure, which already exists in specific neighborhoods and is currently under construction in others.

      In late 2019, a bond issuance is planned to fund the four-year buildout of the utility — across the entire Power & Communications service area in Estes Park, Glen Haven, Allenspark and portions of the U.S. 34 and U.S. 36 corridors to the east. To ensure the business is funding itself, the order of service additions will be based on the construction cost and revenue potential.

      Beyond that, your rate payments for service go right back into running, maintaining, and expanding the system because this is your community-owned broadband.

    • Trailblazer Broadband service will be the only high-speed internet service delivered over fiber-optic lines, resulting in the fastest and most reliable option available to residents and businesses of Estes Park.

    • The answer depends on what type of email address you currently have.

      If it is hosted by your current service provider – TDS or CenturyLink for example – most likely you cannot take your email address with you.  The ISP could allow that since they own the email servers, but it doesn’t make good business sense to help people leave their service.

      Rather than offering hosted email service through Trailblazer Broadband,  we recommend that you an email account that will move with you such as a Gmail or Hotmail account. These are free and very easy to set up.

      You can get a free email account from Gmail, Yahoo Mail, or Outlook.com, just to name a few. Then, once you have setup your new email account, you can set up forwarding on your old ISP email account to your new email address before you close it. You’ll have to manually change those accounts online, but this will make it much easier. If you setup a Gmail account, you can create filters that automatically label any email addresses are forwarded from your old account so that you can keep track of which companies are still using your old email address.

      Follow one of the links below for instructions to set up one of these options as your new email service.

      Set up Gmail 

      Set up Microsoft Outlook (formerly Hotmail)

      Set up Yahoo

    • We are currently evaluating options for a formal phone offering as part of your Trailblazer Broadband service.  We will release more information in early 2020. 

      In the meantime, with Trailblazer high speed internet, you can easily take advantage of existing Voice Over IP phone options that allow you to place phone calls over the internet to any phone in the world.

      Although Trailblazer does not endorse any particular provider or their products and services, you can search on the internet for “Residential VoIP Service” and you will find services such as Vonage, Ooma, Skype, VOIPo, AXVoice, PhonePower and more.  Most offer a basic residential option for less than $10/month* and some, including Ooma, offer a free residential option.*

      You can plug a phone directly into your Trailblazer Optical Network Terminal (ONT) or use any WiFi enabled phone.  Your computer does not need to be turned on to use your phone service.

      Advantages of VoIP phone service:

      • Call anyone, anywhere in the world for one low cost. 
      • One flat rate fee for local and long-distance calling.
      • Typically lower cost than your local telephone company.
      • Keep your existing phone number or pick a new one with an area code anywhere in your country. 
      • Eliminate expensive hidden fees, such as tax and all those odd service charges traditional phone companies often charge.
      • Use your existing phone, in most cases.  If a VoIP adapter or new phone is needed, it can be obtained through the selected provider.
      • Enjoy features such as unlimited calling, call waiting, call forwarding, caller ID, address book and 3-Way Calling.

       * This is not a comprehensive list and the Town of Estes Park and Trailblazer Broadband do not endorse any of the above companies, the views they express or the products/services they offer. Prices listed are as advertised in November 2019.

    • Yes – we’re in good company! In 2017, Longmont became Colorado’s first “Gig” city in the country. Ft. Collins and Loveland are also implementing their own network.

      For additional perspective, more communities than ever are embracing building their own broadband networks as an alternative to private-sector providers. More than 750 communities across the United States have embraced operating their own broadband network, are served by local rural electric cooperatives, or have made at least some portion of a local fiber network publicly available. These networks have sprung up across the nation as a direct reflection of the country’s growing frustration with sub-par broadband speeds, high prices, and poor customer service.

      According to the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, a nonprofit that advocates for local economies, there’s now 55 municipal networks serving 108 communities with a publicly owned fiber-to-the-home Internet network.

      Source: https://motherboard.vice.com/en_us/article/a3np4a/new-municipal-broadband-map, Jan 23, 2018.

Billing & Payment

    • Yes, your automatic payment will be charged to the credit card or bank account that you entered when you signed up for service. You will receive a reminder before your account is charged and a payment confirmation email when that payment has been processed.

    • We can provide you a paper bill; however, most of our customers feel that the automatic monthly payment option by credit card is the fastest, easiest and most secure way to pay (and saves you the cost of a stamp). You still have complete control of your payment options and can change your payment method at any time through your online account. Invoicing is available for our business customers.

    • When you sign up for service, you will enter a credit card or bank account information. At the time of sign up, you will be charged a prorated amount for the days of service in the current month (from installation date forward) and any applicable installation fees (waived for Mountaineer members). Then, on the first of each month, your monthly fee for internet as well as phone and managed wifi if applicable, will be automatically charged/deducted from your account.

    • Utility payments and broadband payments are billed and collected separately.

    • Yes, you can change your payment method by contacting our Customer Support team at 970-577-3770.

Installation

    • The standard installation fee for service is $89.95; however, if you are able to take advantage of our Mountaineer Discount, that fee will be waived.

    • Pre-installation takes place outside your residence between the time you sign up for service and your in home installation. You will receive an email when pre-installation is complete. This email will also include a reminder of your in home installation date and time.

    • After signing and selected your installation date and time, you will receive an email with a confirmation of the time and date. You can go into your account online at any time to check the installation schedule if you forget. If you need to change your appointment or need further assistance, please call our Customer Support team at 970-577-3770.

    • Installation occurs in two phases on two separate dates. Pre-installation brings fiber from curb to your home, followed by installation inside your home at a later date and time that you will choose when you sign up for service. You do not have to be home for pre-installation, but will need to be there for the In Home Installation at your scheduled time.

    • Trailblazer Broadband service includes the lease of an Optical Network Terminal (ONT) that facilitates your internet connection as well as wireless connectivity if you subscribe to our managed WIFI service. This equipment will need to be returned to Trailblazer Broadband if and when service is terminated.

    • When selecting the location for your fiber installation, be sure to let your installer know if pets or children will have access to the room or area where the fiber will be run.  Trailblazer Broadband is not responsible for any damage to wires or equipment that occurs in the home after installation, but more importantly, we want your family members and pets to be safe.  If you have pets that are prone to chewing, you may want to invest in a simple, inexpensive cord cover.

    • The lease of the equipment is included with the service. We highly recommend using our provided equipment whenever possible because it is configured to maximize efficiency and internet speed as well as to aid in any troubleshooting that might be required in the future.

    • It is our goal to set up your service to your satisfaction during the installation appointment. The cost of leasing the equipment is included in the monthly service charges. We highly recommend using our provided equipment whenever possible because it is configured to maximize efficiency and internet speed as well as to aid in any troubleshooting that might be required in the future.

      If you prefer, we will connect to your existing router and ensure that your internet is functioning properly. If there is a custom request or something unusual about your existing configuration that requires additional time or a return visit, an additional fee may apply.

    • The installer will help you determine the ideal location for your interior wall plate and the ONT during the appointment. In the meantime, it is a good idea to think about possible locations and to make sure that it is accessible. For best results, the ONT should be placed in a central location of the home near the main TV and/or computer. The area should have easy access, free of obstructions or heavy furniture and be near an exterior wall with at least two available electrical outlets.

    • If you wish to connect multiple devices within your home or use OnDemand or streaming TV services, a wireless router is essential. The good news is that Trailblazer Broadband’s Nokia Gateway acts as a modem and a wireless router all in one.  So if you subscribe to our Worry-Free WiFi service – which is including in the discounted Mountaineer Package, you will not need to have a separate wireless router.

    • You do not have to be home for pre-installation which takes place outside your residence between the time you sign up for service and your in home installation. You will need to be present for the in home installation.

    • When you sign up for service online, you will be able to select a time and date for installation inside your home that is convenient for you.

Rates & Packages

    • Service will be offered on a month-to-month basis with no long term contracts.

    • We are evaluating phone service options at this time, and more information will be provided at a later date.

    • Trailblazer Broadband is a separate and distinct business operated and supported by Estes Park Power & Communications. The broadband service does not impact the cost of your utility service. Our electrical SmartGrid infrastructure for the Town’s electricity delivery system which is required to meet our renewable energy goals is adding to the efficiency of our utility and helping to streamline the buildout of our broadband service.

    • While we can’t guarantee that prices will NEVER change, we have analyzed what is needed to make the program successful and financially feasible. We don’t plan to change pricing but if that happens down the road, Mountaineer customers will always have a lower rate than the standard published price as long as your account at that location remains open and in good standing.

    • If you intend to connect more than one device to your new Trailblazer Broadband service, it is important to have WIFI in your home, so you can connect devices in various rooms without cords.

      Worry Free WiFi (cloud-enabled WiFi) is even better because it allows our Trailblazer Broadband team to provide better support through remote troubleshooting and improved network performance, utilizing cloud-based monitoring and administrative tools.

       

    • If you sign up within 90 days of service availability in your area, you will receive our Mountaineer Discount pricing. As a Mountaineer customer, you will always have a lower rate than the standard published price as long as your account at that location remains open and in good standing.

    • Residential pricing if you sign up for service within 90 days of service availability in your area is $69.95/month which is a $20 savings off the standard rate of $89.95. This includes up to 1 Gbps upload and download speeds, no data caps and no long-term contracts. The standard $89.95 installation fee is also waived. Managed wifi service may be added for only $6.95 per month. The leasing of necessary equipment is including in this pricing.

    • We are planning to offer a seasonal option for residents who are not in the area full time. Details of this program will be provided as soon as it is available. You can go ahead and sign up for service now, and then add this option when it becomes available.

    • No. Trailblazer Broadband service is separate from your utility service. You make the decision about whether the faster, more reliable internet service is right for you.

    • Yes! With Trailblazer Broadband, you can subscribe to services from Live TV and OnDemand Streaming providers to continue enjoying your favorite shows and movies, sporting events and even local news! Even better, these options are often far less expensive than traditional cable offerings. Most offer free trials so you can try them with no obligation and find the perfect fit for you! Learn more about cutting the cord Trailblazer Broadband Support/Resources.

    • We are putting together several options for our business customers so that we can offer a plan that best suits your needs.

      There will be small business plans and enterprise plans for larger business, as well as customized options based on your needs. We will be reaching out to individual businesses and you can contact us our Customer Experience Manager, Kim Smith, at 970-577-3564 for more information in the meantime.

    • You can actually SAVE money by subscribing to Trailblazer Broadband and cutting the cable cord, and potentially your phone cord as well.

      – When you consider the cost, consider not only your internet service, but your cable and phone bill also.

      – With Trailblazer Broadband, instead of paying upwards of $100 each month for a variety of TV channels that you don’t watch, replace your traditional television service with streaming TV at a fraction of the cost. By canceling cable and making the switch to streaming entertainment, people save hundreds of dollars annually.

      Finally, fiber broadband is not just about speed, it is largely about reliability and continuity. If you’re like many area residents and businesses, you have experienced the inconvenience of not having internet when you needed it at some point. Trailblazer Broadband’s fiber-optic lines provide the fastest and most reliable option available to residents and businesses of Estes Park.

Service Availability

    • In building a world-class broadband infrastructure, we want to make sure we do it right.
      While we would love to provide service to everyone immediately, we are building a new fiber network that takes time – in this case, up to 5 years – to plan effectively and to build efficiently. There are 3 main considerations: customer density, constructability and our mountains. As you can imagine, we face unique challenges building through our beloved mountains and rocky terrain to serve an area larger than Fort Collins, Loveland and Longmont combined.

      For those reasons and to ensure sustainability for all concerned, we appreciate your patience, understanding, and support of the project as we move toward your area.To see approximately when your area is slated to receive service, please refer to our planned Construction Map.

    • To see approximately when your area is slated to receive service, please refer to our planned Construction Map.

      Over the next 3 to 5 years, service areas will radiate from the core area of the Estes Valley. The initial startup phase will take advantage of Estes Park Power and Communication’s smart grid fiber optics infrastructure, which already exists in specific neighborhoods and is currently under construction in others. Every 3 to 6 months as construction progresses, we will announce which areas will receive service next.

      Be sure to fill out our Interest Form [LINK] to receive broadband updates based on your address. There’s no obligation or commitment, but you will also be one of the first to receive notice when service is available in your neighborhood.

    • In building a world-class broadband infrastructure, we want to make sure we do it right. While we would love to provide service to everyone immediately, we are building a new fiber network and that takes time – in this case, up to 5 years – to plan effectively and to build efficiently. There are 3 main considerations: customer density, constructability and our mountains. As you can imagine, we face unique challenges building through our beloved mountains and rocky terrain to serve an area larger than Fort Collins, Loveland and Longmont combined.

      For those reasons and to ensure sustainability for all concerned, we appreciate your patience, understanding, and support of the project as we move toward your area. To see approximately when your area is slated to receive service, please refer to our planned Construction Map.

    • While we would like to provide service to everyone immediately, the build out of service will continue over the next 3 to 5 years. To see approximately when your area is slated to receive service, you can look at our planned Construction Map. These are broad timeframes that are always subject to change, but will give you an idea of how to manage your current contract and when you might want to explore month-to-month options with our current provider to avoid any long term commitments with their service. You can also fill out the Interest Form on our website to receive periodic updates. When we get closer to construction in your area, you will be the first to know and can plan accordingly.

    • As the build out continues, we will be contacting all Homeowner’s Associations (HOAs), development communities and apartment complexes with details on how to provide service to their residents. We will need to get permission from property owners prior to signing up anyone who is renting and would like to sign up for service.
      Let your landlord, HOA or property manager know that you are interested in having Trailblazer Broadband.
      Also, be sure to fill out our Interest Form to receive broadband updates based on your address. There’s no obligation or commitment, but you will also be one of the first to receive notice when service is available in your neighborhood.

Sign Up

    • Yes! Renters must have written approval from the property owner prior to signing up for service. We have a form that owners should sign if they want their renters to have permission to sign up for service. The best way to get started is to fill out the Interest Form on our website to receive periodic updates and to be among the first to know when service is available in your area. We will help you coordinate permission from your landlord at that time as well.

    • No problem! Call our Customer Support team at 970-577-3770 and they will resend the link to provide you with access to sign up online.

    • Sign up and installation will be easy, with minimal equipment installed by the Town’s dedicated support technicians.

      – Step 1: Even if service isn’t available in your area yet, stay up-to-date on service availability based on your address and pre-register to be one of the first to receive service when it is available. If you haven’t already done so, visit [WEBLINK NAME] now and sign up for updates.

      – Step 2: You will receive an email invitation when service becomes available at your address. Simply click on the link provided to sign-up for service. If your link is not working of lost, contact us to have your link resent.

      – Step 3: Create your online account & schedule your installation date. You will also be able to set up monthly autopay in your online account.

      – Step 4: Estes Park Power & Communications will install your service in two separate steps:
      Pre-Installation to run the fiber from the curb directly to your home.
      In-home installation to connect your service inside.

      – Step 5: Enjoy your faster, more reliable internet.

Support

    • If your internet service does not seem to be working properly, here are a few things to check that could result in a simple, quick resolution.

      First, to determine if there are any known outages within the system, check our status page for any known outages or issues: https://status.trailblazerbroadband.com (Coming Soon!).

      If no known outage is indicated:

      • Ensure power is connected to all devices.
      • Ensure power button is switched to “On” on your modem (ONT) – Confirm that all cables are plugged in properly. To be sure, you may want to disconnect and reconnect them.
      • Check for power & service indicator lights.
      • Ensure you are connected to the proper WIFI system.
      • Make certain your account is up to date on payments by logging into www.TrailblazerBroadband.com>Account.
      • Please note that your Trailblazer Broadband user name and password for the network are on the bottom of your NOKIA device. All system access information including passwords were also provided on the paperwork left with you during the installation process.
      • If you still need assistance, we’re here to help! Call us at 970-577-3770.
    • Positioning of your ONT (or your wireless router, if you are using your own device) can impact the WIFI signal you receive in various parts of your home. Placing the device in a central area of your home reduces wasted coverage area and eliminates unnecessary distance between the unit and any connected devices on the outside edges of the coverage area. Ideally, it will be within sight of wherever you sit and use the Internet most.

      Every installation is unique, based on the layout of your home.  Step 1 of installation is a brief inspection of your home to determine the best location for the equipment and the proper route for installing the wiring necessary to active the service.   The installers will provide a few options for installation and wall plate placement.  Typically, standard installation will be on the main floor of your home within 20 feet of the entry point from the exterior of your home.  It is best to avoid placing the ONT near metal objects and electrical appliances, particularly microwaves and baby monitors.

      Depending on your home layout and size, some areas may experience a weaker signal, no matter where the ONT is placed.  You can purchase additional mesh nodes (similar to repeaters, but offering stronger, more consistent signal strength) from Trailblazer Broadband to place strategically within remote areas of your home.  Our installers can assist with placement recommendations to optimize the signal strength throughout your home.

      If needed, custom installation is available for an additional cost; however, adding a mesh node or two in remote areas of your home may be a better solution.

       

    • To conduct the most accurate speed test on your Trailblazer Broadband service we recommend that you download our speed test App following these instructions:

      1. Connect to Trailblazer Internet Via Nokia Gateway ONT and Ethernet Cable
      2. Disable WiFi & close all applications
      3. Download Speedtest.net Desktop App
      4. Ensure Trail Blazer Broadband is selected as the server
      5. Run Test by Clicking “Go”
      Please note that due to ethernet overhead, you will not see a full 1Gbps, but slightly less.
      Other factors that can negatively impact your speed test and achieve slower results are:
      1. Connecting through WiFi or not disabling WiFi
      2. Running the speed test in a web browser
      3. Running the speed test on a slower computer or a computer running other programs
      4. Running the speed test through an internet provider other than Trailblazer Broadband

      For Speeds up to 1 Gigabit per second
      Operating System:
      Windows 10 (64 bit) or newer or Mac OSX 10.8 or newer. Visit the Microsoft Windows lifecycle fact sheet or Mac OS X Support overview for their latest operating system information.
      Browser:
      Google Chrome 56.0.2924, Microsoft Edge (64-bit), Mozilla Firefox 52 (64-bit) or Safari 8 or newer. For more information about different browsers or to download a new one, visit whatbrowser.org.
      Ethernet Cable:
      Cat5e or Cat6 Ethernet cable.
      Ethernet:
      10/100/1000 Gigabit Ethernet interface or adapter for wired connection
      CPU/Processor:
      Intel Dual Core i5 or better or AMD Ryzen 5 or better
      Memory:
      8 GB of RAM minimum
      Hard Drive / Space:
      64 GB or larger SSD recommended to achieve maximum download speeds

    • To log into your WiFi account, go to wifi.trailblazerbroadband.com.  You will need to enter your username (email address) and password to access your WiFi account.

      The installer should have left that information with you at the time of installation. If you didn’t receive one or can’t find it, please contact us at 970-577-3770 so we can assist you.  For security purposes, your login credentials, including passwords, are not listed in your TrailBlazer Broadband online account.

      Once you are logged into your account, you can change your WiFi password.

      IMPORTANT:  Changing your WiFi password will require you to update all devices that are connected to WiFi – such as computers, TVs, thermostats, home security systems, printers, etc. – with the new password in order to connect them to the internet. 

       

    • You can enjoy a variety of TV options with Trailblazer Broadband, typically at a significantly lower cost than cable TV. You can learn more about streaming and on demand TV options on our website under Help & Support/Streaming Resources.

      During your installation, our professional installers will work with you to determine the best location for your ONT device based on the layout of your home and how you typically use the internet. If your TV is WiFi enabled it can be connected to the ONT wirelessly through our Worry-Free WiFi option.  Otherwise, it can be connected via an ethernet cable.

    • The NOKIA Beacon supports both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz wireless frequencies.  The Beacon switches automatically depending on what the clearest channel is away from interference. Go to 192.168.18.1 (paste this IP address in your browser) and enter the email and password on the bottom of your device to review your settings.

    • During the initial in-home installation, our installers will work with you to determine the best placement for your ONT within our standard installation parameters.  They will confirm this selection with you before completing the installation.

      If you require an installation that falls outside our standard guidelines, a custom installation can be performed at a cost of $80/hour over and above the standard installation time. Likewise, if you choose to have your ONT moved after the initial agreed upon installation, a separate service appointment will be created for that move, again at a cost of $80/hour.

    • In most cases, connecting a device to your home network is easy. A managed wifi connection is is available with Trailblazer Broadband. This option is needed if you wish to connect multiple devices wirelessly.

      Although each device is somewhat different, these simple steps should get you started.  Please also consult the Users Guide for each individual device for more specific instructions.

      On your device:

      • Go to Settings
      • Select the option most closely related to one of the following: Network – Connectivity – Internet Connection
      • Select WIFI Connection option
      • When prompted, enter the wifi name and password that are listed in your Trailblazer Broadband account
      • Wait for the indication that the device is “connected”
      • NOTE: You can perform these same steps in a wired configuration by connecting your device to the modem with an ethernet cable.

      If you want to connect a device that does not have built-in Wi-Fi connectivity, you can purchase a WiFi adapter that plugs into your computer’s USB port.

    • Yes, you can turn the light off with these easy steps:

      1. From the Nokia WiFi device list, tap the device you wish to view.
      2. At top of the screen, locate the device name.
      3. Find the Nokia WiFi device’s LED status  under Configuration.
      4. The LED Light is enabled by default, selecting this option (clicking on the dot to disable) turns off the LED on top of the Nokia WiFi device.

Connecting
Our Community

When Will Service Be Available?

Service will be built out over the next 3 to 5 years beginning the fall of 2019. The initial phase will take advantage of Estes Park Power & Communications’ smart grid fiber-optic infrastructure, which already exists in specific neighborhoods and is currently under construction in others.

Fill out the interest form to receive broadband updates.

By registering, you will also be one of the first to receive notice of service when it is available in your area.

Questions? Call Customer Support: (970) 577-3770