LEADVILLE, Colo. Jan. 12, 2017 — Twin Lakes and southern Lake County will see improved broadband service thanks to a grant from the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies’ Broadband Deployment Board.

The board announced Jan. 10 that Colorado Central Telecom was awarded a $288,338 grant to provide broadband access for 425 residential and business customers throughout Twin Lakes and southern Lake County.

“Our mission is to bring broadband service to Central Colorado’s rural mountain communities,” Colorado Central Telecom CEO Ralph Abrams said. “We’ve been looking to connect Twin Lakes and the southern Lake County area for a number of years. This grant enables us to do that.”

The grant will be matched by $25,000 from Lake County and $5,000 from the Lake County Economic Development Corp. Colorado Central Telecom will provide the remaining $48,000 grant match.

“The Lake County Commissioners support this badly needed internet service and commend Colorado Central Telecom for taking the initiative to seek out this funding,” said former Lake County commissioner Bruce Hix, who supported the grant initiative during his final year in office.  “This is a very important first step to energize economic development in our community.”

Colorado Central Telecom provides internet and VoIP phone service to 2,300 residential and business clients throughout Chaffee County and the upper San Luis Valley. The DORA funding will allow the Crestone-based company to expand its network into Lake County.

The project involves the construction of towers at Granite and Sugarloaf Mountain. Construction is slated to begin in spring 2017.

Service will be provided over Colorado Central Telecom’s fixed wireless network using cutting-edge equipment from technology companies Telrad and Mimosa. Fixed wireless technology provides service over the air, essentially beaming in internet to equipment mounted at a customer’s residence. This allows for a more flexible and cost-effective deployment than legacy technologies such as DSL, which is delivered over copper telephone lines.

Colorado Central Telecom is among seven recipients awarded a total of $2.1 million in grant funding. Other recipients include CenturyLink, Forethought.net, Nucla-Naturita Telephone Company, Optimus Communications, PC Telcom and Viaero Wireless.

“Broadband access is a critical service for Colorado communities, especially in supporting economic development,” Gov. John Hickenlooper said. “These grants will bring more than broadband services to many unserved communities; they will also grow opportunity for their local businesses and residents.”

The funds will capitalize eight broadband infrastructure projects set to be completed over the next two years. More than 4,700 households and 175 businesses in Eagle, Cheyenne, Kiowa, Lake, Mesa, Montrose, Ouray, Prowers, Sedgwick and Weld counties will benefit from the DORA-funded projects.