The Town of Mountain Village is pleased to announce the official launch of its Fiber to the Home project, which is slated to deliver ultra-high-speed 1-gigabit internet to every property in Mountain Village by the end of 2020. 

At its July meeting, the Mountain Village Town Council voted unanimously to hire Lightworks Fiber & Consulting to install the fiber optic cables, and last week a contract was officially executed. 

“We are very excited to be launching construction of this major upgrade to our broadband network infrastructure, which will allow us to offer improved internet services to every home and business in Mountain Village,” said Mayor Laila Benitez.

Town of Mountain Village Chief Technology Officer Jim Soukup said he shares Benitez’ excitement while recalling similar, new connectivity decades ago when he worked for this newspaper.

“Remember in the mid-1990s at the Planet when I set up one of the only frame relay systems in southwest Colorado linking Telluride, Montrose and Gunnison for DP News?” Soukup said. “(This) fiber project carries the same excitement and efficiencies.”

Soukup continued, “Mountain Village is joining the modern world by putting in a fiber network which can handle modern applications. Some of these applications demand low latency connections. Fiber answers these requirements. Traditional reversed engineered networks in place today were never designed to handle modern applications and consequently struggle to keep up.”

Soukup explained that current internet systems in Mountain Village were originally intended only to deliver cable television to properties. 

“When the internet came along, cable providers learned how to deliver that over their existing networks,” Soukup said. “The current system we have was good in its day, but it’s become dated. We’re now putting the infrastructure in that’s specifically designed to give us a fast service. This is a monumental upgrade that we’re doing.” 

Fiber networks are much simpler in design and function, making it easier to troubleshoot connection issues and, “easier to deliver the high-speed internet experience we all want,” Soukup said. 

The construction of the fiber network will be completed in two phases. Phase one construction began July 29 and is expected to finish by the middle of October. During this time, crews will begin installing the new fiber network underground in certain parts of Mountain Village. Additionally, during this phase, the Boulders Prospect Plaza Shop Area will be the beta test site. 

Once the initial construction work is complete, the customer in the beta area will have the option to begin testing different fiber internet boxes in exchange for free internet. 

The second phase is planned to begin spring of 2020 as construction and installation will be rolled out through the entire town of Mountain Village. When fiber is installed to each premise, cable modem internet service will be removed, and other services, such as phone and TV will connect to the new internet box and remain active. 

Once the fiber is installed, current Town of Mountain Village phone and TV customers will automatically be migrated to the new fiber network. 

“Mountain Village's fiber network represents a modern network approach designed from the ground up with the ability to scale to meet these current and future demands,” Soukup said. “Both businesses and residences benefit tremendously from a modern fiber network and thus inheritably answers the question about internet connectivity.”

And, Benitez added, “Town Council has heard from residents and businesses, both large and small, that reliable and fast connectivity is an indispensable need.”

Customers who live within the beta test site have already been contacted by the town, but those interested in learning more can email beta@mtnvillage.org. To view a map of the beta test area, please visit townofmountainvillage.com/fiber.

Periodic updates of the project’s progress will be posted to this site as well.

To learn more about the fiber project and to sign up for the updates on the fiber construction project or to view a map of the beta test area, please visit townofmountainvillage.com/fiber.