Crestone Telecom, a local investor owned company formed to bring broadband to the area, received word Monday, November 28th, that The San Luis Valley Development Resource Group’s board has approved their loan application. Says manager Cheryl Rowe “With the support of many community investors we now have the funds to make Crestone Telecom a reality. Investment opportunities are still available until December 31st.”

Background information from Ralph Abrams, Crestone Telecom

On November 18, 2011 the Federal Communications Commission presented, in a 700 page document, deep changes in the national telecommunications policy that would radically decrease funding to rural wired telecommunications providers. What does this mean to you, the end user? It’s that big changes are afoot in the telecommunications industry. These changes have to do with the Universal Service Fund. Basically, this fund collects from all telephone users and subsidizes rural telephone providers. This subsidy was designed so rural Americans could get telephone service where it would have been unprofitable for phone companies to supply that service without the subsidy. This has been the game for a long time in the telecommunications field with only the incumbent provider receiving the subsidy, and no chance of a competitor moving in—way too expensive to put in the necessary infrastructure. But change is coming.

The Federal Communications Commission has mandated that these funds be used not for telephone service but for Broadband—a big shift! Over the next five years rural telephone providers will be receiving less subsidy money for their telephone service. This is not good news for small rural telecom companies. There is really no way to tell what the shakeout period is going to bring in terms of continued service and support. Companies that have been counting on the subsidies to achieve profitability in their combined internet/telephone packages are going to be in trouble. Rates are going to skyrocket as these companies scramble to meet expenses and achieve profitability.

What is needed is a competitive environment where there is no monopoly on service. Consumers in a competitive broadband market have more choices in price, speed, and support. As Matt Larsen, writing for Wireless Internet Service Providers Ass’n, states: “The best way to improve broadband access to unserved and underserved populations in the US is to foster the development of smaller independent providers that can quickly address the needs of their communities using the most efficient technology available.” That is why fixed wireless internet service providers are proliferating across rural America with a technology that breaks the barriers of old school thinking about infrastructure costs and costly bandwidth. The new way of approaching bandwidth is this—the more you use, the cheaper it is—the more our community finds ways to utilize the abundant bandwidth available, the less costly it will be for everybody.

Crestone Telecom takes advantage of this new improved fixed wireless technology. Without carrying any old, dated, infrastructure costs, Crestone Telecom, with no subsidies and no handouts, will deliver high capacity, fast speeds and increased reliability to our community end users, establishing competition that will keep quality high and costs low. That’s what Crestone Telecom is all about and that’s what we are doing. Look for us on the ground January 2012. Go to Crestonetelecom.com for the latest updated information!