The below article was published in Estes Park News on March 13, 2019. The article can be viewed here
Following a unanimous vote of the Town Board to proceed with the broadband project, here are some answers to frequently asked questions for customers of Estes Park Light & Power.
1. What is the Town of Estes Park’s broadband initiative?
The Town of Estes Park is establishing community owned and operated broadband, a high-speed internet service that will ultimately be available to everyone served by Estes Park Light & Power.
2. What is broadband and what are the benefits?
Broadband, by definition, is high-speed internet. The Town of Estes Park’s 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.
3. Why is the Town of Estes Park launching its own broadband service?
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, the Town’s 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 Light & Power.
4. What are the benefits of community-owned fiber-optic broadband internet?
Estes Park’s broadband offering will be its own municipal utility, ensuring the same premier level of service and support community members and businesses have come to trust from Estes Park Light & Power.
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.
5. How does the Town of Estes Park’s broadband service compare to other services currently offered?
The Town’s 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 and surrounding area.
6. When will service be available?
Broadband service will be available in limited areas later this year and will be built out over the next 3 to 5 years. The initial startup phase will take advantage of Estes Park Light & Power’s smart grid fiber-optic infrastructure, which already exists in specific neighborhoods and is currently under construction in others.
Raven Circle and Carriage Hills will be the first neighborhoods to receive service starting in the 4th quarter of 2019. Service to other areas will be added over the next several years, based on the construction feasibility, density and potential revenue in each area.
The Town of Estes Park will provide regular updates to the community with more information on how to sign up for those updates coming soon.
7. What is the cost of the Town’s broadband service?
Rate plans for the broadband service are currently being established. There will be several different plans to choose from, allowing businesses and residents to select the plan that best suits their needs.
Early subscribers will be offered a Trailblazer discount, an exclusive discounted rate available to charter members that will remain in place for the life of the account.
Soon, the Town’s local concierge support team will be available to walk residents and businesses through plan options.
The Town’s broadband service will be billed separately from resident and business utility bills.
8. When the time comes, will it be easy to switch to your service?
Sign up and installation will be easy, with minimal equipment installed by the Town’s dedicated support technicians.
The Town’s local concierge support team will be available to answer questions and help residents get the most from their broadband service.
9. How can I stay updated on your progress?
Watch for periodic updates at www.estes.org/broadband and we will send you notices from time-to-time in your utility bill. Also, keep up with the latest by following the Town of Estes Park on Facebook and Twitter.
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