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Colorado Statewide Education Organizations Endorse EAGLE-Net Alliance

The Colorado Department of Education and the Colorado Association of School Executives, representing school districts, educators and executives across Colorado, have recently endorsed EAGLE-Net Alliance’s plan to deliver broadband services to critical anchor institutions throughout the state. These anchors include K-12 school districts, community colleges, institutions of higher education, libraries, public health care facilities, government and public safety entities.

EAGLE-Net is an intergovernmental organization formed to improve and expand broadband access across Colorado. With less than half the Internet bandwidth of most neighboring states, Colorado’s schools have reduced access and availability to on-line services and information for students.

In correspondence to Lawrence Strickling, Assistant Secretary of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) which oversees the EAGLE-Net project, Colorado Department of Education Commissioner Robert Hammond said the CDE strongly believes in EAGLE-Net’s work and that EAGLE-Net “will have a positive impact on quality of life, increased access to educational support, and student achievement across Colorado.”

Bruce Caughey, Executive Director of the Colorado Association of School Executives wrote “EAGLE-Net is a lifeline being developed in Colorado that will be the first of its kind network. It will allow remote and rural areas to compete, and from the perspective of education leaders, is going to allow 21st Century learning to take place.”

EAGLE-Net also received similar support from the Colorado Board of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES), which is comprised of 169 of the 178 school districts in Colorado, along with letters from other educational, business and governmental entities.

EAGLE-Net is building a state-wide middle-mile broadband/data network which can partner with private-sector providers of last-mile communications infrastructure. This can dramatically improve, and in some cases provide first-time, high-speed broadband to students and key anchor institutions alike.

“The EAGLE-Net project, when completed in 2013, will ensure that students and communities across Colorado will be able to access high-speed Internet services and all of the educational, resource and business tools which come with it,” said Randy Zila, CEO of EAGLE-Net. “Regardless of location, this includes sharing software and cloud services, on-line and remote training classes, connecting public safety systems and other resources not readily available in these areas.”

EAGLE-Net is working to keep Colorado competitive with other states by providing enhanced opportunities for students, local providers and communities. To that end, EAGLE-Net is:

  • Building a first-of-its-kind statewide middle-mile high-speed broadband network which will connect approximately 170 Colorado communities by providing services to educational and governmental entities.
  • Partnering with local service providers to enhance their ability to improve and expand their service to residential and business customers. EAGLE-Net is not authorized to sell its service to the commercial or residential markets and therefore does not compete with local telecom companies for that business.
  • Creating a robust and redundant system which complements and enhances existing infrastructure. Having a redundant network is a necessity to ensure network reliability – not a luxury.
  • Offering local carriers a choice for access to high-speed transport over our network at a potentially lower cost than they may currently be paying - which they can, in turn, offer to their customers.

About EAGLE-Net Alliance

The EAGLE-Net Alliance (EAGLE-Net) is a Colorado intergovernmental entity which operates a cost-sharing cooperative that will deliver a carrier-quality broadband network to more than 230 community anchor institutions. EAGLE-Net is building a sustainable network to better connect education, libraries, government and health care facilities statewide.

EAGLE-Net was awarded a Round-2 $100.6 million Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP) infrastructure grant in September 2010 from the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) and will bring it to completion by September 2013. For more information, visit www.co-eaglenet.net.

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