A study is under way to assess demand for high-speed Internet services as the City of Grand Junction proceeds with a broadband initiative.
The study will include a survey of households and businesses asking about their broadband requirements and the likelihood of subscribing to faster and affordable Internet access.
The study is part of a first phase of work that will consider network design as well as a financial analysis of whether or not a fiber optic network would be commercially viable.
“In this day and age, broadband is no longer a ‘nice to have.’ It has become a ‘must have.’ It will play a key role in fostering and sustaining a healthy business environment and helping to spur economic development here,” said Grand Junction Mayor Phyllis Norris. “We are pleased to see this first phase getting under way and I encourage those who receive the survey to take part.”
The Grand Junction City Council voted to enter into exclusive negotiations with Nokia and SiFi Networks to under take the study and conduct the analysis. Nokia and SiFi were selected from among a total of 11 national and local providers that submitted proposals.
The survey will be carried out by an independent research specialist who will send questionnaires to a random sample of households and businesses.
If the project appears to be viable and moves forward, the Nokia and SiFi Networks proposal includes SiFi funding, building and operating infrastructure with Nokia providing equipment and managed services. The City of Grand Junction would create an open access fiber network, enabling Internet service providers to connect to the community.
“Nokia is excited to learn that Grand Junction is taking the next step towards a fiber optic network, and we stand ready to work alongside SiFi Networks and our other partners in completing this important community project,” said Hakan Fransson of Nokia.
Ben Bawtree-Jobson, chief executive officer of SiFi Networks, said Colorado municipalities have been exploring low-risk ways to bring Internet infrastructure to their communities through various partnerships. “Nokia and SiFi Networks are delighted to have been given the opportunity to work with Grand Junction.”