OPALCO Studies Broadband Expansion

OPALCO is committed to providing our member owners with reliable, cost-effective utility services— and has been doing so since 1937. We are cooperating with emergency services and public safety providers, the Economic Development Council and other stakeholders in the County to study how county-wide access to broadband (high-speed internet) services would benefi t our members. Please watch for a green survey postcard in the mail that asks for your input on what role OPALCO might play in this important community effort.

Why Broadband Expansion?

Expansion of our broadband infrastructure would improve our public safety network and advance the menu of telecommunication services available countywide. Public safety improvements include better dispatch and two-way radio communications, enhanced 911 services and communication between first responders and hospitals.

While public safety is a primary concern, OPALCO recognizes the potential for meeting other currently unmet needs in the County for higher-speed internet access and more reliable wide-spread broadband services such as increased opportunities for telecommuting and small business applications, mobile data acquisition and streaming video. The potential for improved cellular services will depend on the interests of established cellular providers.

OPALCO is working with industry experts to formally investigate the feasibility of expanding broadband access. The menu of specific services and who would deliver those services is yet to be determined. Once the study is complete, OPALCO will be meeting with community stakeholders to develop a plan of action.

Why is our Electric Co-op Involved?

OPALCO is uniquely positioned to help in this effort with the existing capacity on our robust fiber network. OPALCO’s fi ber is already serving the County, the Sheriff’s Office, fire departments, libraries, medical centers and schools as well as some small businesses.

With some additional investment, OPALCO could extend the fiber network to serve members in most of San Juan County. OPALCO brings a unique set of qualities to this community effort as a non-profi t, member-owned cooperative. You can count on OPALCO, as members have for almost 75 years, to deliver reliable, efficient services that contribute to a better quality of life in San Juan County.

We Want to Hear From You

Please watch for our green survey postcard in your mailbox in mid-October; we thank you for taking a minute to complete the postcard survey and return it to us with your opinions. Of the surveys received by October 28th, ten names will be drawn to receive a $100 bill credit as our thanks for helping us with this important research.

Stay tuned as we progress toward a solution that will benefit the whole community. Access the PDF here.