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Trailblazer Fiber Construction Update – Spring/Summer 2024

It’s time for a community update as Trailblazer, with your invaluable support, continues planning the final phase of its fiber broadband buildout. 

The project has reached a pivotal milestone by completing the majority of the main construction in our designated service areas. These areas include most parts within the Estes Park Town limits, extending north to Glen Haven and progressing along Highway 7 towards Allenspark. While this is the backbone of the fiber network, we still have a long way to go to bring service to everyone, particularly those in more remote locations. The desire for service has been overwhelmingly positive. Our installation calendar is currently booked well into the fall. 

Meanwhile, we are re-strategizing our fiber construction to the remaining unbuilt areas of our community. With the shift to internal staff completing all new construction and installations, the remaining buildout takes additional time and careful consideration. These areas are challenging because of their distance, lower density, and, in most cases, difficult terrain. As you might expect, these challenges also make this final portion of the buildout more expensive. 

In short, all main construction has been placed on hold as the original funding for the project has been exhausted due to the rising costs of construction materials and supply issues. While Trailblazer is thriving as a business, we haven’t been open long enough to generate a large enough revenue pool yet to use for mainline construction, though we are covering costs and meeting bond obligations without raising rates or using tax dollars as we originally committed to.  We do prioritize where to put our efforts and resources based on the rate of return possible compared to the cost to build and the interest we have in Trailblazer based on the number of registrations from residents and businesses in a location.

Inflation has exponentially increased the cost of doing business for Trailblazer, as it has for most other companies and families in recent years. As a result, Trailblazer is actively seeking broadband funding through various grants to assist with rising material and construction costs in rural buildout areas. Trailblazer received a small amount of grant funding; however, most grant efforts proved unsuccessful with intense competition for too few dollars. The good news is that more grant money is available in 2024; however, those dollars are only applicable to “rural” buildouts.  Other funding sources are not an option at this time, so we are focusing on generating additional revenue by building the outlying locations that qualify for grant funding first.

Waiting for a good thing is never easy – whether it is grant money or better internet service – and we appreciate the patience of our neighbors who do not yet have access to Trailblazer Broadband service. While there is no timeline at present, Trailblazer is working diligently to deliver this vital service as quickly as possible. 

What can you do to help? Please take a moment to email Congressman Joe Neguse, your 2nd District Representative, describing your internet experience and asking for his support for broadband grants in our community.  

Check the Trailblazer News Page and Construction Schedule for additional updates. If you haven’t already done so, please Register to Stay Informed so we can reach out when service is available in your area.

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