A fast connection to first place
By Stephanie Mason
During a time when people are relying on their home internet more than ever for work and entertainment, a local fiber internet company outshined other providers. In June, Stratus IQ, formerly Falcon Broadband, was awarded Best In Business 2020 by “The Colorado Springs Business Journal” in the category of Broadband and Internet Service Providers.
StratusIQ provides fiber internet, telephone services and digital TV services. The company originated in Falcon and now serves numerous surrounding communities. StratusIQ has serviced El Paso County for more than 16 years and was the first to bring fiber internet to the area, according to their website. Though they are expanding, StratusIQ currently provides fiber communication services to communities from the Monument area through Fort Carson. The company boasts “the most extensive fiber backbone in Colorado Springs.”
Fiber internet, or fiber-optic communication, is a method of transmitting information from one place to another by sending pulses of infrared light through an optical fiber.
“We are absolutely ecstatic to be voted the best Broadband and Internet Service Provider in Colorado Springs by our customers and the readers of ‘The Colorado Springs Business Journal,’” said Ben Kley, president of StratusIQ, in a press release. “As a local business, it means so much to us to be recognized by the community that we serve. Our goal is to provide the highest level of service to our clients and uphold the values our customers have come to expect from us.”
To win the award, StratusIQ needed to receive the most votes cast by the community via an online voting poll set up by the CSBJ. StratusIQ won the award over well-known, national providers, such as CenturyLink and Xfinity. The second place award went to Unite Private Networks and the third place award went to Comcast NBCUniversal.
“We switched to StratusIQ after our previous internet provider didn’t offer fast enough speeds to meet the needs of our family’s internet usage,” said StratusIQ customer Tamara Morris. “From the start, I received nothing but stellar customer service from StratusIQ staff.”
Kley said the win is due to the investment that the company makes in providing service to under-served, local areas. The award, received June 24, speaks to more than just the company’s customer service and internet packages. StatusIQ is dedicated to building infrastructure to provide high-speed fiber internet services to under-served areas. The company is dedicated to providing internet to areas overlooked by larger internet providers.
“There is a lot of expansion going on in Colorado Springs, and a lot of people feel they are having a hard time receiving good communication services,” Kley said. “People in these areas are happy to receive our services because they feel like the incumbent providers leave them behind and are not investing in the network in their area. By expanding our network, we have brought on a lot of customers. We have very good reviews, and people in those areas are very happy to receive our services.”
On track to finish this year is the infrastructure StratusIQ is building to serve 237 homes near Latigo Trails. This project will provide its users an upgrade to plans that reach download speeds of up to one Gbps, a huge improvement from their current provider’s speeds of between 1.5 and 15 Mbps. This new internet service could reach more than 1,000 residents in the area, according to the grant proposal.
The proposal also states that StratusIQ started this project after receiving a state grant that funded 65 percent of the project. The grant that StratusIQ received was from the Broadband Fund, which is a rural broadband infrastructure grant program overseen by the Broadband Deployment Board within the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies.
StratusIQ sent a new proposal for a state grant in mid-July for a similar project on North Meridian, according to the grant proposal. This project will provide the possibility of fiber internet to an additional 291 homes and an estimated 1,048 people. At this time, the project is only in a proposal stage. Kley said he believes it is important to continue to provide high-speed internet to rural areas.
“Everybody wants fast internet and they all want fiber internet,” Kley said. “This is something that needs to be planned out and it takes a long time to actually initiate. If we didn’t have these plans, then these people would never get fiber internet. No other company is going to invest millions of dollars in these areas.”