- Associated Press - Saturday, September 19, 2015

CARBONDALE, Colo. (AP) - Businesses with only a few people who want to work from home in Carbondale are having problems because Internet service is limited, especially during prime business hours.

The Carbondale Chamber of Commerce says about 60 percent of its members have between one and three employees and they could save money by working at home, but in some cases they can’t get their work done.

Chamber Director Andrea Stewart said Internet speeds and equipment are the problem.

“I had one business owner located just off Catherine Store Road who said that when everybody is working at once the Internet can be so slow no one can get anything done,” Stewart said.

A joint effort between Garfield and Mesa counties that was recently awarded a $150,000 planning grant from the Colorado Department of Local Affairs seeks to improve that situation.

The counties are working with hospitals, emergency services providers and private businesses that would like to be involved in developing the plan, as well as providers who offer Internet services.

Kevin Batchelder, acting Garfield County manager, said the goal is to develop partnerships with private service providers to implement the eventual plan, rather than the counties getting into the business of provide broadband services themselves. However, it might involve granting easements along county roads and other public rights of way in order to bury fiber optic cable to provide high-speed Internet service, he said.

Any government involvement in directly providing broadband services would require a public vote, as the city of Glenwood Springs did several years ago when it implemented a citywide broadband network, the Glenwood Springs Post-Independent reported (https://tinyurl.com/qdxwdlw ).

“This type of expansion will be huge for the business community,” Stewart said. “It’s something that would not only help our current businesses, but could also help new businesses in deciding whether to locate here.”


Information from: Post Independent, https://www.postindependent.com/

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