Estes Park being surveyed about broadband

Panorama of Estes Park, , , taken at an altitu...

Panorama of Estes Park, , , taken at an altitude of about 9,000 feet. Picture is taken from the mountains around Gem Lake, north of the town. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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ESTES PARK — The Town of Estes Park sent surveys by email to area businesses on Monday  as part of its research into establishing a broadband utility within the current Light and Power service area. A random selection of residents also will be surveyed.

The survey, which will provide data on customer preferences for Internet service and pricing   models, is being conducted by independent researchers at Colorado State University and Discovery Research Group. Customers will first receive a phone-call invitation to provide an email address so they may receive a link to the 10-minute online survey.

Ninety-two percent of Estes Park voters approved a measure in February that authorized the town to make its fiber-optic network available to the public and form a municipal broadband service.

Conducting the survey follows a recent recommendation from an independent consultant that a utility owned by the town would be the only feasible option to expand broadband Internet service in the Estes Valley. Outreach to the community during the study resulted in significant support for offering high-speed, reliable and affordable Internet service.

To understand whether it can undertake this project, the town of Estes Park also is reviewing construction costs, financial models and funding options. A key component to these factors is the completion of a detailed engineering design, for which the town submitted a grant application to the Colorado Department of Local Affairs for approximately $1.4 million. The town expects to learn the status of the grant application in March.

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About Mark Milliman

Mark Milliman is a Principal Consultant at Inphotonics Research driving the adoption and assisting local governments to plan, build, operate, and lease access open-access municipal broadband networks. Additionally, he works with entrepreneurs and venture capitalists to increase the value of their intellectual capital through the creation of strategic product plans and execution of innovative marketing strategies. With more than 22 years of experience in the telecommunications industry that began at AT&T Bell Laboratories, Mark has built fiber, cable, and wireless networks around the world to deliver voice, video, and data services. His thorough knowledge of all aspects of service delivery from content creation to the design, operation, and management of the network is utilized by carriers and equipment manufacturers. Mark conceived and developed one of the industry’s first multi-service provisioning platform and is multiple patent holder. He is active in the IEEE as a senior member. Mark received his B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Iowa State University and M.S. in Electrical Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University.

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