POWER NOTES:

Elevating our Community

[SW Colorado | March 2020 | By Karen Prather]

DMEA installing Elevate Internet in local, rural communities.

Elevate Internet, a subsidiary of Delta-Montrose Electric Association, selected Lightworks Fiber & Consulting as the general contractor of their upcoming expansion this coming summer. This means the Elevate project will remain completely local from their front desk to their field work, giving residents the option to spend within their community.

DMEA members and employees started Elevate to combat the monopoly held by national internet providers in the Delta-Montrose area. Since these companies were the only option for an internet connection, community members were forced to spend their hard-earned money on slow speeds and high prices from far-away companies. Elevate is “really about improving the quality of life in this valley, and being able to support other local businesses is just the fabric of who we are,” said Becky Mashburn, communications and marketing manager at DMEA.

Community members built DMEA and Elevate and will continue to do so while employing only local residents. Eric Neal, Teresa Neal, and Dakota Coats started Lightworks Fiber & Consulting in 2011. Since then, their team completed projects across the country as well as in their own neighborhood. The Lightworks team consists of Delta-Montrose locals, and they’re excited to handle a project at home after travelling the last year, according to Eric Neal. “They are based out of Hotchkiss and Delta, making Elevate 100 percent locally driven,” said Mashburn.

The team at Elevate Internet plans to serve an additional 4,000 Delta-Montrose families, so the Lightworks team has plenty to accomplish here. According to Mashburn, Lightworks has been working with Elevate from its start. “We were excited to be able to bring them on in a larger capacity,” she said. Lightworks was considered among many other contractors but, Mashburn said, “Their bid fit all of our needs and priorities” for the next expansion.

Every dollar spent in the local community is a dollar that stays here, stimulating and growing this community instead of one out-of-state. By choosing a local company over a national conglomerate, residents put money in their neighbors’ pockets and food on their tables. At Elevate, “We value being a local business,” said Mashburn. “We value supporting other local businesses, and we recognize that our success is truly the result of the people that live and work here.” There’s not always a local option, but when it comes to internet, Delta-Montrose residents have Elevate.

Elevate is growing alongside the Delta-Montrose community. “A lot of people that live and work here want to see this area succeed,” said Mashburn. “It’s been a wonderful asset to see these other business grow and succeed, and to be a part of their success as well.” More and more local businesses need high-speed internet to get their jobs done, and with the help of Lightworks, Elevate can provide this service to even more members of their community.’ 

Delta Montrose Electric Assoc.