Designing a Full Blown Fiber System for Widespread Broadband in Rural Colorado
May 24 – 3:00 pm to 3:45 pm
Grays Peak 3
COVID exposed our country’s lack of broadband connectivity, especially in underserved rural areas. The Southern Ute Indian Tribe (SUIT) is taking action to deploy high-speed broadband within the exterior boundaries of the Southern Ute Reservation, which consists of 1,058 square miles located in Southwestern Colorado bordering Northwestern New Mexico. Key to the success is a cooperative partnership between the tribe, government (state and federal) and solution providers (engineers, contractors and system manufacturers). A scalable air blown fiber system was selected based on key factors: total cost of ownership, sustainability, deployment speed, and upgradeability. This case study focuses on the phases of this key collaboration from planning to the network design to the construction as well as the challenges encountered and solutions provided.