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Press Release: Holy Cross Energy completes Phase I of Broadband Infrastructure in Roaring Fork Valley

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For Immediate Release:

Jenna Weatherred
VP, Member and Community Relations
970-947-5470
jweatherred@holycross.com

 

Holy Cross Energy completes Phase I of Broadband Infrastructure in Roaring Fork Valley

Glenwood Springs, CO, June 28, 2023 – Holy Cross Energy (HCE) has announced the completion of phase I of a network infrastructure project installing 41 miles of fiber between Glenwood Springs and Aspen. HCE’s fiber network supports operations to more quickly diagnose outages, dispatch energy resources in real-time, and increase reliability between HCE data centers in the event of an emergency.

The three-phase project brings “middle mile” broadband infrastructure to the communities of the Roaring Fork and Eagle River valleys. Phase II between Avon and Gypsum is anticipated to begin this summer, and Phase III will connect the first two phases with a link over Cottonwood Pass.

“HCE’s primary goal is to increase reliability and to dispatch energy resources in real-time. We are also excited to utilize our fiber where available to support our member and communities by providing access to a strong fiber network,” said Manuel Gomez, fiber and broadband director at HCE.

In 2018, HCE underwent a feasibility study to see what it would take to bring broadband to their service territory and what efforts were being made locally by current broadband service providers.  At the time of the study, 94% of HCE members who responded already had a broadband service provider.

HCE’s Board of Directors ultimately decided not to expand into retail internet, but to pursue middle-mile projects supporting HCE’s operations and where grant funding was available. In addition to the goal of supporting its system operations, HCE is also working with local entities, private and public, to support an increase in access to fiber infrastructure by subleasing the fiber to regional internet providers.

Currently, the Northwest Colorado Council of Governments (NWCCOG) has the only lease on HCE fiber which provides middle mile broadband services to Pitkin County, the City of Aspen, the Town of Basalt, and the Town of Snowmass Village.

“The new infrastructure supports more devices in the field, especially as we look to improve connectivity and to diagnose and respond to issues in the field while providing redundancy for our data centers,” said Gomez.

For the last several years, HCE has also worked on efforts to support Project THOR, a collaborative group of local governments acting through the Northwest Council of Governments. Project THOR’s goal is to help bring affordable, reliable internet access to rural areas.

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About Holy Cross Energy

Founded in 1939, Holy Cross Energy (HCE) is a not-for-profit rural electric co-op providing safe, reliable, affordable, and sustainable energy and services that improve the quality of life for more than 45,000 members in western Colorado. HCE was built by and belongs to the diverse communities and member-owners we serve. Membership is open to everyone in our service territory, regardless of race, religion, age, disability, language, political perspective, or socioeconomic status. HCE is committed to leading the responsible transition to a clean energy future. Its 100×30 goal is to provide members with 100% clean energy by 2030 and achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2035. For more information on HCE, please visit www.holycross.com.

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