Volume No. 18 Issue No. 9 September 2021  

  StratusIQ and Mountain View vie for broadband service

     Internet service in the Falcon area will soon be improving. Some areas that had been underserved will be able to choose from at least two competing internet providers, Mountain View Electric Association and StratusIQ.
   Mountain View, a member owned cooperative, recently announced plans to provide fiber optic broadband internet to all of its 51,000 members in portions of Arapahoe, Crowley, Douglas, Elbert, El Paso, Lincoln, Pueblo and Washington counties. The cooperative will provide internet service to underserved areas. Construction of the system is scheduled to start in November and is expected to take five or six years, according to the article in the August issue of “The New Falcon Herald” — “MVEA is getting into the fiber optic business.” Construction will be done in segments and internet service will be available to some Mountain View members in the second quarter of 2022.
   Densely populated areas in Falcon already have or will soon have optic fiber broadband internet coverage through StratusIQ, a privately owned for-profit company, according to an article in the August issue of the NFH — “StratusIQ expands internet service.” In January, StratusIQ completed a project that offers internet to every address in Latigo Trails.
   Another StratusIQ project that is about 60% complete will provide fiber optic broadband to about 290 homes on North Meridian Road. StratusIQ also has applications pending for two new projects, one in the area of Meadow Lake Airport and the other between Woodmen Road and Black Forest. StratusIQ also serves Paint Brush Hills and Bent Grass. As more new houses are being built in those areas, the service will expand to accommodate them. All of these areas receive electricity from Mountain View and will also be covered by Mountain View's internet system.
   Ben Kley, president of StratusIQ, has called the overlap of services “an overbuild and a misuse of members’ funds” on the part of Mountain View. He said he has met several times with Mountain View officials and offered to coordinate efforts or work together with Mountain View in those areas where he is already or soon will be providing internet service. Kley said he will be able to deliver the same quality of internet service for the same price.
   However, Sarah Schaefer, public information officer for Mountain View, said StatusIQ could not meet Mountain View’s “security and technology needs.” For now, it looks like there will be at least two competing fiber optic internet systems in portions of the Falcon area. Mountain View members will not be required to use Mountain View's internet system, but will be free to use whatever internet carrier they desire.
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