11:15am

Wed May 22, 2013
Business

EAGLE-Net Back To Work On Rural Broadband Project In Early June

EAGLE-Net Alliance, a quasi-governmental agency, will resume work on its statewide broadband infrastructure project in Colorado beginning in June.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) lifted a five month suspension on EAGLE-Net in April and have released the project's funding totaling a $100.6 million of federal stimulus.

EAGLE-Net is working to build a high-speed broadband network to serve libraries and schools in rural and underserved areas.

According to the Northern Colorado Business Report, EAGLE-Net Interim President Michael Ryan made the announcement formally during a board meeting Tuesday in Broomfield.

"The NTIA and NOAA will continue to have a close watch on the project," said Ryan, adding that he welcomed the agencies' oversight.

Now that the suspension has been lifted, EAGLE-Net plans to focus on 29 school districts west of I-25. EAGLE-Net plans to complete the majority of the construction by August 2013.

The 36 school district customers currently served by EAGLE-Net continued to receive service and were not affected by the suspension, but any new projects were on hold.

Operations were suspended in December due to environmental concerns with the project's current routes and problems with permits and consultations with other agencies. Following the suspension, concerns arose that EAGLE-Net was building in communities already served by high-speed broadband and in others wasting funding on redundant fiber optic installation. The project has also drawn criticism from Republican lawmakers.

Editor’s Note: This article has been updated to clarify the reasons for EAGLE-Net’s grant suspension. The previous version incorrectly implied that the suspension was due to concerns from critics and lawmakers.

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