Emery Telcom continues to thread its way to Broadband and Fiber Optic connections for the majority of San Juan County. Congressional funding for the project matches investment with communications companies for providing service to rural America. In a win win situation companies like Emery are given the opportunity to expand their service and improve reliability at a higher level than they might be able to afford currently. And the nation gets a network of broadband allowing those in its reach to become part of a vibrant digital world. Telecommuting from literally anywhere is the ultimate goal.
According to Emery CEO Brock Johansen, the company has been working with several stimulus programs funded by the United States Department of Agriculture.
In the Castle Valley area of nearby Grand County, funding from USDA Community Connect will contribute significantly to the expansion. The same grant program will provide funding to get broadband into areas of San Juan County, including La Sal.
A separate USDA Reconnect grant is funding expansion along US 491 from Monticello to the state line and then on to Cahone Colorado. The USDA has pledged $5.1 million to help fund that portion of the expansion. When completed it will provide a redundant system to keep everything south of Moab functioning should something happen to the broadband connection on the current line. The redundant line will connect with broadband running south from Grand Junction to Cahone.
Currently final touches are being put on an agreement to run broadband from Blanding across the White Mesa Ute Reservation. That line will continue on south to several other locations with additional funds for reaching to Navajo Mountain, Montezuma Creek and Monument Valley provided by UETN, The FCC and others.
The town of Bluff will be getting its connection to broadband courtesy of Emery Telcom completely. The company recognizes that Bluff needs the service and with their own investment they can then use some of the USDA, FCC and other grants available to continue work providing broadband to even more communities further south. Mexican Hat will have broadband available as well. By cobbling together grants and funding from various sources Emery is able to expand at a faster rate and provide more reliable coverage in a rural area that can thrive on a connection to the rest of the world. The current administration in Washington recognizes the importance of broadband in a changing world and committed a substantial amount of money nationwide to the effort. San Juan County’s Economic Development and Visitor’s Services office is excited about the opportunity this expansion of broadband brings to the area and the future potential it provides to our region.