Lightning fast internet on the horizon for Sangre de Cristo Ranches

Residents of Sangre de Cristo Ranches in Costilla County could have some of the fastest Internet speeds in Colorado within the next year. Pictured here is the Blanca Massif taken by the SDCR

COSTILLA COUNTY — Blanca Telecom proposes to bring ultra-high-speed broadband Internet to approximately 100 households in the Sangre de Cristo Ranches (SDCR) subdivision in Costilla County.

According to Jordan Wehe with Blanca Telecom, the company already serves residents near this additional services building and the company has submitted the necessary permit documents to Costilla County.

Ben Doon, Chief Administrative Officer for Costilla County provided this update on the permitting process.

“Last week Blanca Networks filed a special use application with our Planning and Zoning Office to install fiber along Luke and Sonora streets in the Sangre de Cristo Ranches subdivision,” Doon said. Commission and a public hearing before the Board of County Commissioners. Our land-use administrator is working to get a hearing before the planning commission at its June 14 meeting. He should then go before the county commissioners a couple of weeks after that.”

Doon added that the commissioners will update residents on the permitting process at their June 6 meeting with no decision being made.

Several residents have asked their commissioners to approve the permit application. In a letter to Commissioner Robert Espinoza, SDCR resident Nicole Langley wrote, “As you know, technology has changed quite a lot from the pre-Web days of Blanca Telephone’s canvas ‘bag phones’ and Yagi antennas. Today , as the rest of the world enters the 21st century, our neighborhood, like so many other rural areas, has been left behind Many of us are elderly or retired and, for medical and social reasons, we need fast and reliable ways to connect with the world. Economic times are tough, so some of us find ways to earn money teaching, consulting, or selling online. And, for all of us, opportunities for education, artistic expression, professional development, or work at distance simply don’t exist, because we don’t have high-speed Internet access. We need your help.”

Espinoza told the Valley Courier he would investigate the issue and respond at a later date.

The fiber building will offer multi-gig service to residents who work from home.

Steve Navratil, entrepreneur and SDCR resident, told the Valley Courier, “Having access to reliable internet connectivity is absolutely critical to my business, Colorado Digital Labs, Inc. As a company focused on technology development, CDL designs, manufactures and program custom electronic products for customers in the U.S. and abroad.Everything from the microprocessors, electronic components, special hardware, and materials that go into what CDL builds must come from outside suppliers from around the world.”

The process of bringing a new service to an area is a four-step process, Wehe says. The first stage is the design work where the business consults with the local authorities for a customized plan. The second phase is the construction and connection of the fiber paths. The third stage is the splicing of the fiber lines and the underground vaults are connected. The fourth step is installation and the screws visit the residences to get things going. Wehe said Blanca Networks is currently between steps one and two.

On tap for residents is multi-gig internet, one gig and two gigs with the same upload and download speeds, which Wehe says are the fastest speeds available in Colorado.

If the permitting process goes smoothly, Wehe says construction should begin in late summer and full connectivity will be available in summer 2024.

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