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[December 13, 2012]
Mountain towns get up to speed [The Pueblo Chieftain, Colo.]
(Pueblo Chieftain (CO) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Dec. 13--SALIDA -- Improved broadband Internet service is helping Salida and Buena Vista better compete for jobs.
April Prout-Ralph, the director of the Chaffee County Visitor's Bureau, said the improving service appeals to both existing businesses and prospective employers.
"Chaffee County Economic Development Corp. already has promises of new business in the area, largely due to the deployment of the new broadband," she said.
Among existing businesses, "Monarch Mountain and Mount Princeton Hot Springs are benefiting from additional connectivity," Ralph said.
High-speed, big-city-style broadband service has been a goal for the Chaffee County jobs group since Gov. John Hickenlooper announced his Colorado Blueprint plan in January 2011.
The county is served by a number of providers. The deployment of additional broadband Internet connectivity is now under way by Colorado Central Telecom.
The focus of Colorado Central Telecom is to offer "last mile" connectivity to areas that are without the service or are underserved.
In addition, the company is offering expanded service to crucial businesses and anchor institutions, Ralph said.
Wendell Pryor, director of Chaffee County Economic Development Corp., said consumers will offer Internet speeds "up to 12 MBS." "Monarch Mountain ski resort will offer much faster high-speed Internet," Pryor said.
The economic development group created and worked with a local technology planning team to make the service a reality.
Up next, the jobs group will turn its attention to further developing the area's skilled workforce.
By working with the schools, strategic employers, Colorado Mountain College and the Colorado Workforce Center, the communities hope to help improve the skills of local workers, Ralph said.
Chaffee County Economic Development formed in 2008. It includes two dozen members.
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