More wireless headed to county

Mancos, rural areas eyed for investment

Internet provider SkyWerx is building a publicly accessible wireless network in Durango, just one of several local efforts to expand broadband infrastructure around the region that is expected to frow west to Mancos.

“I’ll say within 30 days that whole area will be lit up,” said Jeffrey Gavlinski, director of sales and marketing for the Pagosa Springs-based company.

SkyWerx also has plans for its own wireless Internet at Durango-La Plata County Airport and Purgatory at Durango Mountain Resort – places visitors expect to be able to access the Internet.

The plan was recently approved by Forest Lakes’ board. SkyWerx is doing the Forest Lakes project with AlignTec, a local Internet-service provider that is responsible for the “last mile” connection into homes.

SkyWerx was named one of the 2014 Colorado Companies to Watch, a program backed by the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade and the Edward Lowe Foundation.

SkyWerx’s expansions follow the completion of the Southwest Colorado Access Network. A $4 million project to expand broadband infrastructure, SCAN was funded by $3 million from the Colorado Department of Local Affairs and $1 million in matching grants from local governments.

“There is a lot more fiber in our region than there was before,” said Ed Morlan, executive director of the Region 9 Economic Development District of Southwest Colorado.

Providers including FastTrack Communications and Cedar Networks are piggybacking on the SCAN infrastructure, Morlan said.

“We’re working on expanding our fiber infrastructure to Dolores and Mancos and ultimately expanding broadband to those communities,” said John Monday, FastTrack’s director of network engineering and operations.