Emery Telcom CEO Brock Johansen speaks to the crowd of business people gathered for a presentation at Canyonlands By Night on Tuesday, Jan. 21. [Photo by Nathan Wynn / Moab Sun News]

Emery Telcom presented information regarding fiber optic internet service now available in parts of Moab to several dozen business owners and residents at an event held Tuesday, Jan. 21 at Canyonlands by Night. The company says the service now delivers 40 gigabytes per second, and will be able to upgrade to faster speeds as technology progresses.

Emery Telcom completed work on a project that connected Moab to Green River via fiber optic cable lines in the fall of 2012. This fiber was used to connect Moab to Emery’s core system and other facilities. Just over one year later, the fiber build has continued to grow, and shows no signs of stopping. 

The fibers are much more resistant to extreme weather conditions such as heat, cold and moisture than traditional metal phone lines, and have no known limit of data capacity. “It’s extremely reliable and consistently delivers a good experience”, said Jared Anderson, Emery Telcom’s assistant general manager.

With speeds much faster than DSL, which runs over normal telephone wires, fiber optic lines instead use fibers made of glass which are approximately the width of a human hair, transmitting data at the speed of light instead of the speed of electricity. 

Anderson said that after the connection to Green River and Moab was completed, Emery continued the fiber build during 2013, providing service in Moab a few blocks on either side of Main St., as well as to hospitals, schools, cell phone towers, and large businesses who expressed immediate interest in fiber. 

The focus for Emery now is to continue building the fiber infrastructure in town for those that have signed up for fiber service, moving through area by area. 

Emery Telcom began as a cooperative formed in Orangeville in 1950. As time progresses, the company says they are focused on improving fiber service in Moab, as highlighted by Emery Telcom’s general manager Brock Johansen at the presentation.

“We’re very community focused because we’re owned by the community,” Johansen said.

Utah’s Office of Economic Development has promoted the continued building of technological infrastructure and see fiber optics as a boon to those who rely on the internet in order to perform their jobs. 

Ken Davey, the economic development specialist for the City of Moab, is excited about the proliferation of fiber optic service in Moab. 

“The more communications services available to Moab businesses and individuals the better. Of particular importance are technological advancements that make it easier for people to live in Moab and interact with customers and clients across the globe,” Davey said. 

Davey’s point applies directly to local software developer Amos Van Horn, who works remotely from Moab for an educational services company based in New York City. 

Van Horn uses his broadband connection daily for tasks ranging from audio/visual conference calls to screen-sharing sessions to remote code deployment which entail lengthy upload and download times.

“A robust and reliable connection is very important and essential for me to do my job,” he said.

While Van Horn enjoys the benefits of fiber at his in-town office, he doesn’t now use fiber at his home office, but he is considering it. 

“I see the higher cost as most likely an acceptable expense as it’s directly related to my daily activities,” Van Horn said. “For me, fiber optic cable would be a worthwhile investment in the same way a mechanic might invest in a high quality set of tools. It’s something I use all day long related to my source of income.”

Emery Telcom announces plans to expand high speed fiber optic service in area

“We’re very community focused because we’re owned by the community.”