The communications company Emery Telcom expanded into Grand County in 2009, and is working to broaden fiber infrastructure in the region. The company recently received a “Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity” from the State Public Service Commission, meaning they have an obligation to serve rural areas and state support to help fund construction in high-cost areas. Jared Anderson, chief operating officer for Emery Telcom, presented the company’s progress to the Grand County Commission at its May 17 meeting.

Anderson said the goal is to decommission the cable internet network in the area and shift completely over to fiber service. Castle Valley is already built out, he said, and the company hopes to complete the project in the next five years. Most of the new cable is buried underground—Anderson said the company may use existing aerial infrastructure, but won’t install new poles (unless there is an extenuating circumstance, such as an archaeological site). The buried fiber can be later upgraded to more advanced service.

“The beauty of fiber is that right now, we’re delivering one gig to the household—one gig up, one gig down,” Anderson explained. “The next rendition of fiber to the home is 10 gig. All you do is you change the laser on each end. Nothing has to happen in between, and so you instantly upgrade to 10 gig. And so that helps account for future needs.”

Emery Telcom maintains an agreement with Grand County to work in county easements to continue expanding fiber infrastructure.