Colorado’s premier broadband development conference, Mountain Connect, has named Colorado Central Telecom as 2017 internet Provider of the Year.
“Colorado Central Telecom connects unserved and underserved communities in rural Colorado,” CEO Ralph Abrams said. “It’s not an easy undertaking, and the recognition from Mountain Connect means a lot to our team.”
The award reflects Colorado Central Telecom’s dedication to bridging the digital divide in rural Colorado, especially areas neglected by incumbent providers.
“Internet service is a critical resource,” Abrams said. “We’re helping connect people in some of Colorado’s most challenging areas.”
Colorado Central Telecom was founded in 2012 through a grassroots community effort to bring broadband service to Crestone, Colorado. That effort has since burgeoned into a 2,400-customer-strong network spanning the upper San Luis Valley and Chaffee County.
The company leverages a redundant hybrid fiber/microwave network with more than 30 repeater sites across its service area. This network provides fast, reliable internet and VoIP service to some of the most difficult-to-reach areas in south-central Colorado.
Colorado Central Telecom was recently awarded a DORA grant to bring broadband to Twin Lakes and southern Lake County. The company is also investing heavily in fiber, with a growing network in Buena Vista and Salida.
“We’re excited to bring big-city bandwidth to our rural customers,” Abrams said.
Mountain Connect attracts hundreds of telecommunications industry professionals each year to its annual conference in Keystone, Colorado. Now in its seventh year, the event serves as an important educational resource to help Colorado communities meet their broadband needs.