SCEDD Broadband Initiative – May 2023 Update



SCEDD has finalized the development of its Broadband Implementation Blueprint for its 13 member counties in southern Colorado. The blueprint compiles and identifies middle-mile fiber needs across the region. Once approved for distribution, the blueprint will serve as a master plan for the region’s middle-mile priorities and help SCEDD solicit and form meaningful partnerships from both local governments and private providers that couples critical middle-mile projects with last-mile service. Regional collaboration is crucial for developing the most attractive grant-eligible projects for the Capital Projects Fund as well as other state and federal grant programs.

If your community has developed a broadband strategy, is partnering with private providers in your area, or is preparing to apply for grant funding, please reach out to SCEDD and provide additional information. SCEDD wants to support those efforts and ensure it knows of planned implementations that may or may not be identified in its Broadband Implementation Blueprint to efficiently connect counties in the region with affordable, high-speed broadband.

In the development of SCEDD’s broadband blueprint, the SCEDD team requested mapping data from owners and operators of fiber infrastructure in the region. This data, paired with the most up-to-date Broadband Availability Data, paints a clear picture of the digital divide in our region.

By leveraging this mapping data, SCEDD has identified 23 middle-mile fiber routes that connect existing fiber routes and can help enable Internet Service Providers to meet or exceed the state’s symmetrical download and upload speed mandate (100/100 Mbps). The 23 proposed routes, symbolized with green lines, are labeled with an identification number in the map above. In preparation for the Capital Projects Fund, the map also identifies the Tier levels associated with funding availability and grant matching requirements. Tier I requires 25% match and has the most funding available, while Tier II requires a 50% match. SCEDD has scored each of these routes to form a priority list; scoring and criteria information will be published after the Broadband Implementation Blueprint is reviewed and approved by the SCEDD Board later this month.

Tier One Counties:  Kiowa and Prowers

Tier Two Counties: Crowley, Otero, Bent, Baca and Las Animas

As SCEDD collaborates with stakeholders on project development, specific details about ownership; access; and bandwidth availability – on and between new fiber routes – will be solidified. Through partnerships with local governments and private providers, SCEDD hopes to turn the highest-scoring routes into successful projects.

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