A Monte Vista-based electric cooperative was awarded a USDA Rural Development grant of nearly $2 million to deploy fiber internet to rural parts of the San Luis Valley in Colorado. San Luis Valley Rural Electric Cooperative’s internet subsidiary, Ciello, will use the grant for high-speed internet and will connect 129 people, eight businesses, one public school and 20 farms to the essential technology. Ciello began providing high-speed fiber internet access to its rural service territory in 2014.
USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack said in recent press release, “Connectivity is critical to economic success in rural America,” and is vital to its growth and prosperity.
Several Colorado electric co-ops have internet subsidiaries, including Southeast Colorado Power Association’s SECOM, Delta-Montrose Electric’s Elevate and Yampa Valley Electric’s Luminate. Mountain View Electric in Limon is currently constructing its 5,800-mile fiber-to-the-home network in partnership with Conexon Connect. Typically, in all of these instances, the fiber internet infrastructure is built using the co-op’s current electrical infrastructure.
These innovative solutions and partnerships help connect rural Colorado and will provide reliable internet access to underserved communities. This is just another example showing how Colorado’s electric co-ops are leaders in innovation and are continuously finding ways to bring critical utility services to their rural communities.
Congratulations to SLVREC and Ciello for the $1.9 million grant for high-speed internet. CREA looks forward to sharing more about how this project brings innovation to rural Colorado communities and residents.