As of June 1, the non-profit Northwest Colorado Broadband, Inc. (NCB) collaborative initiative that will bring added value and function to the growing needs of Steamboat Springs' broadband network is live. This lower-cost middle mile broadband service will serve the Steamboat Springs School District, the City of Steamboat Springs and Routt County.
NCB was formed in 2012 with legal assistance from Cantafio Nagel & Song PLLC attorneys David J. Nagel, Esq. and Chasity J. Barker, Esq.
The collaboration between the public entities and institutional users is an uncommon model nationwide. Additional communities have contacted FN to learn about NCB and the CNL – or carrier-neutral location - structure since its implementation. CNL activation will aggregate the service demand from the users, and has enabled NCB to secure servcie at substantially lower rates from Mammoth Networks (a network wholesaler).
"This is a creative way to achieve expanded service for a significantly lower cost to critical community institutions," said Tom Kern, Steamboat Chamber CEO and President of NCB. "By consolidating demand, members will be able to obtain enormous broadband capacity at about a tenth of the cost they currently pay."
For the school district, the project will increase bandwidth and will enable them to meet the growing demand for internet-based educational testing and programming required to deliver a top-rate education to local schoolchildren. "We have the same broadband needs as Denver Schools but we were paying ten times the cost," said Tim Miles, Technology Director at the Steamboat Springs and South Routt school districts. "With educational applications moving to the 'cloud,' we need affordable and redundant connections. This will not only benefit the schools but the entire community with added value at lower cost."
According to a press release from NCB, Northwest Colorado Broadband, Inc. is a Colorado non-profit corporation founded in 2012, with the mission to increase broadband capacity, provide service redundancy, and reduce the cost of service to public and non-profit entities with critical missions and large service demand. Voting members include the Steamboat Springs Chamber Resort Association, City of Steamboat Springs, Yampa Valley Medical Center and Yampa Valley Electric Association. Partner members include Routt County, the Steamboat Springs School District, and Colorado Mountain College. NCB is authorized by state law to sell service to public and non-profit entities as well as last-mile service providers.