Summit County Commissioner Elisabeth Lawrence and her husband who live in Breckenridge, Colorado, received a special holiday treat on December 9th — their house was connected to the new community network, Fiber9600. Crews braved the snow in the mountain community in order to complete the first home install.
Winter Waits for No Fiber
Two residential neighborhoods have been chosen for the first installs. ALLO Communications, the Internet access provider delivering service via the publicly owned fiber optic infrastructure, has stopped scheduling new installation appointments due to the inhospitable winter construction season.
According to ALLO senior operations manager Junius Businelle, however, crews will continue to complete scheduled installations in the first two designated neighborhoods with expected completion by February 1. Installation is free and takes about 90 minutes to two hours, unless a subscriber asks for TV installation, which requires up to an hour.
Lawrence and her spouse, Ryan Scholl, wanted to switch to ALLO because their previous Internet access was too expensive and unreliable. “We’re really looking forward to it because we have really inconsistent internet,” she told Summit Daily.
From Open to ALLO
The city’s early plans were to develop an open access network in order to spur competition. The community, which welcomes large numbers of tourists every year, has experienced poor Internet access and high rates. City leaders, however, considered the challenges for ISPs operating on open access networks, such as getting a foothold in the community, and decided instead to work solely with ALLO for the first ten years.
With the option to renew the arrangement with ALLO for two more 10-year terms, Breckenridge will give the company a chance to establish themselves as a new entrant. The community will preserve an option to find another ISP in the future, if they’re not satisfied with ALLO after a reasonable period.
As Commissioner Lawrence noted, subscribers will be able to sign up for better service than has been available in the past. As the city’s Fiber9600 page:
Those who have lived in Town for any length of time are well aware of the Internet and connectivity issues experienced in Breckenridge. During the peak season, businesses struggle to complete transactions, students have a difficult time submitting their homework, cell service is reduced, and simply streaming a movie can become difficult. You may think you're receiving a certain speed, but residents find that they're rarely reaching their promised Internet speeds. With only a few options, residents struggle with customer service issues, long term contracts, and pricing options.
ALLO Communications has become most famously known in municipal networks conversations as the ISP working with the city of Lincoln, Nebraska, to deliver Fiber-to-the-Home (FTTH) connectivity to residents and businesses. The city began with a large, publicly owned conduit network. Eventually, Lincoln worked with ALLO to deliver fiber through the conduit across the city. Now, the community has taken advantage of mobile and fixed wireless opportunities. ALLO has been recognized as one of PCMag's fastest ISPs and is also working with Fort Morgan, Colorado.
ALLO is offering three tiers in Breckenridge, all symmetrical:
20 Megabits per second (Mbps) = $45 per month
300 Mbps = $60 per month
1 Gigiabit per second (Gbps) = $89 per month