Garfield County approves contract for broadband 'blueprint' phase

Plan for implementation, operations included in first phase of project

November 9, 2018

GARFIELD COUNTY, CO – The Garfield County Board of County Commissioners approved a $30,000 contract with Mammoth Networks to develop a “blueprint” for the implementation of sustainable wireless broadband service. Mammoth is designing a detailed plan for both implementation and operation of the broadband network, with a focus on providing broadband to rural customers with little to no service.

This first phase of the project includes an evaluation of cost savings stemming from a partnership with Pitkin County; quantifying the cost of a middle-mile network; creating a list of needed equipment to provide access to “last-mile” services to more remote areas of the county; and determining the overall capital and operating costs of the network; among others.

Mammoth is providing the county with network diagrams; equipment specifications; precise locations for towers; a list of costs for equipment, construction, and backhaul; and a technical management plan. The second phase of the project includes operator services and deployment of the network, all of which is anticipated to occur in 2019.
Garfield County is partnering with Pitkin County on the middle-mile infrastructure, which will provide greater broadband connectivity in the Roaring Fork and Colorado River valleys, and surrounding areas. Overall, the cost of the project is $2,339,296, of which the Colorado Department of Local Affairs (DOLA) awarded a grant of $1,055,898 jointly to the counties toward the implementation of the broadband network.

Once complete, a 4G microwave tower link connection to the middle-mile will connect an additional 7,560 households that currently have little to no broadband service.
The DOLA funding comes from the Tier II Energy and Mineral Impact Assistance Funds (EIAF) program, which promotes community development and improved livability in communities that are impacted by development and extraction of minerals and mineral fuels.

The contract was approved unanimously, 3-0.