Montrose, CO

MayorJudy Ann Files

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On Montrose

Six years ago when I first campaigned for Montrose City Council I would speak about broadband as important to our community.  Many people would question me as to why. Now the community is anxiously awaiting high speed and connectivity.  We have come to realize how essential broadband has become in both our business and personal lives.  Economic development for our region is blooming due to the promise of being a Gigabit City in the very near future.  Our numbers of non-tethered workers increase daily.  The Montrose region is a mecca for recreational uses and those non-tethered workers are realizing they can achieve jobs where they like to play. Our region is “remote” and does not have easily accessed ground transportation.  Consequently, businesses and residents rely on our great airport and – now – a great way to telecommunicate.

What Montrose is working on

In April 2014, Montrose voters approved an exemption to an anti-municipal broadband state law by a 3 to 1 margin. The overwhelming 3-to-1 margin of support for the exemption is viewed as a mandate from our citizens to address local needs with local solutions. With this major obstacle cleared, we have been able to be innovative in finding the right solutions for Montrose.
Delta-Montrose Electric Association (DMEA), a rural electric cooperative serving eastern Montrose County and Delta County, has announced its commitment to install a fiber to the premise (FTTP) project which will pass every meter in their service territory. Montrose is the largest municipality in the DMEA territory and excited to be one of the first areas for this deployment. As of the spring of 2017, construction has begun in several neighborhoods of Montrose. We expect every residence and business will have access to fiber with the next 3-4 years. DMEA has announced residential 100 MB symmetrical service will be offered at $49.95/month. Residential 1 GB (1000 MB) service is offered at $79.95/month.
In addition to the DMEA FTTP project, Montrose has been very involved in a regional middle-mile/community anchor institution initiative. The community anchor institution project is nearing completion and will establish a carrier-neutral location in Montrose and will operate this network on an open-access model.
Montrose views our robust broadband environment as just one of the necessary factors in our “Economic Gardening” efforts. The Proximity Space (proximity.space) coworking facility is a great example of a successful public/private partnership which is paying huge dividends for Montrose. Rated the “Best Coworking Space in the World” by Forbes, this space has turbocharged our business development efforts. The City recently hired a Director of Innovation to help attract and grow small businesses in Montrose. The availability of gigabit internet is one of the key ingredients in this effort.