"The Next Mile" >> History

Our vision for standardizing and sharing data was conceived of and developed over ten years ago in the San Luis Valley. Considered an idea ahead of its time, the project was set aside until September 12, 2001. The day following 9/11 we drove to the State capital to discuss with government leaders the potential of a statewide data system that would have tremendous benefit to the state, particularly during times of national crisis. The system would function as a reverse 911 system, enabling every city, county, region and state computer to send and receive immediate information with a single connection, creating a seamless network of critical information between local, regional and state officials. The basic infrastructure to accommodate this type of system had not been built out yet. It was said that day, "It's too bad we didn't do this 10 years ago." We said, "What will they say in 10 years?"

Building the basic infrastructure, a statewide fiber optic backbone referred to as the Multi-Use Network (MNT), was begun in 1998, in response to a mutually held vision by business and government which acknowledged that in order for the state to succeed it would have to be able to operate as a single unit.

Leadership in Colorado saw a benefit in creating a system that would connect sixty-four county courthouses to the statehouse, allowing for the transmission of information to the courthouses from the capital and providing a method for the courthouses to report back. The project was completed in 2002; the fiber optic was deployed to each of the phone company's central switches in each county seat and now needs to be pulled to the courthouses and Regional Data set / system to complete the transport system.

In 2003, when the state of Colorado recognized that the promise of broadband was not being realized in rural communities, DOLA began looking for projects that could help these communities benefit from broadband access. We took this opportunity to re-introduce the 1994 concept of the value of shared "real-time" data sets as a way to expand the potential of the MNT. By combining the concept of shared "real-time" data with the model of citizen-based initiatives; 911 and the San Luis Valley GIS/GPS Authority that had been successfully implemented in the San Luis Valley in the last ten years, we were able to devise a model that can be duplicated in partnership with the Colorado Rural Development Council on a statewide basis once the pilot project is completed.

For more information about the "Next Mile" Project please refer to the following categories:
Alamosa County, County Court House
Alamosa County, County Court House



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