So What Exactly is the Cortez Fiber Project?

The City of Cortez is implementing the FTTH (Fiber To The Home) project. The network is a multi-service open network. The City project eventually would bring fiber to each home and business that requests service. Much like building roads, the city project could deploy the fiber network throughout the neighborhoods and business districts in town.

The city has partnered with private service providers to provide services to users. The initial services planned would include; telephone voice services, data (internet), and video (TV). These three services combined are often referred to as "Triple Play." The city does not provide any services - it just provides the digital road for others to use.

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We believe that it does not make sense to run multiple networks to your home or business. Today you would need one network to your home or business for phone service, a second network to your premise for an internet connection, and a third network to your location for video. Three networks digging up roads, driveways and alleys are very inefficient and costly for the service providers and a huge inconvenience for the consumer. This project uses a single network providing multiple services, with higher capabilities if completed.

In a rural setting like Cortez, leveraging multiple service providers on a single network (digital road) provides the consumer a cost savings for services while the private service providers receive a deployment cost savings because the cost of building the network (digital road) is spread out, exposing the service provider to a larger market for their services. The Cortez system reduces the cost of services for everyone, public and private.

The Cortez Project

The Cortez Project has several providers for the services, giving users a choice of services to choose from. Some service providers on the network are Farmers Telephone, Brainstorm, Velocity Net, Cedar Networks, Data Safe Safe service, and FastTrack. Other providers might be interested as well. Wouldn't it be great if we could keep telecom dollars being spent now outside of the area circulating in Cortez and supporting local jobs?

The system could potentially accommodate other specialized services such as home and business security, police and fire, energy management, online tutoring, schools and tele-medicine.

The city network already has over 120,000 linear feet of fiber throughout Cortez. The current system serves the city facilities, county facilities, hospital, fire district, school district and downtown core business district. A large number of businesses have connected to the network.

Future phases of the project will expand on the current network and grow the outside fiber plant to more local homes and businesses. The head end or location of the main electronics is located at the City Service Center. This is the aggregation point for the private service providers to hook into the network to provide services for the users. In some cases there could be a pedestal box mounted in the neighborhoods.

The home and business owner receive a single box at their location and the individual service in the building hooks in there. The phone plugs into the box, the cable TV system would hook into the box, and the internet connection is also connected to the box. Normally these boxes are mounted inside in a location such as a garage because they include a small battery to power the unit in case of a power outage to provide E911 service at that location. Some can be mounted outside the building, however this impacts the battery life due to cold weather.

The only locations that require electricity are at the head end, and the user's premise. This is called a Passive Optic Network (PON) system. The fiber is brought to the user's premise either by way of the power poles (overhead) or underground (buried). Some businesses, such as a bank, may choose to have a more active connection which is called Active Optic Networks.These have a switch located within a pedestal that is powered.