To the Editor:
I got angry at the MPE Board and Management again when I read their new GM’s article in the September issue of their Colorado Country Life magazine. Instead of being open and honest, they now claim that their Broadband Project was only needed for the electric operation all along due to some obsolete communications technology, e.g. 3G. This is total BS! That is why it makes me angry. It was touted from the beginning by former GM Sifers as the MPE Broadband Project, an effort to bring broadband internet service to rural areas of the MPE territory. They even contracted with two consultants to develop a business plan for broadband internet service, but of course denied my request for a copy of those final reports. Lucky for us ratepayers they chose not to build the over $90 million project to install fiber to every meter but settled for only the $6-7 million backbone fiber-optic cable system between substations and MPE offices in order to lease fiber capacity to internet service providers. Of course, some of that capacity can be used for the electric system but was not needed for that purpose after having just built a $300 thousand backbone communication system that was a hybrid of microwave and other technologies. Or did MPE let their AMI vendor off the hook on delivering the backhaul communications from their smart meters? And tell me why is MPE planning a fiber optic cable extension into the Town of Winter Park where they have no substations or offices located? I cannot express how genuinely disgusted I am with MPE – they decided to abuse their monopoly privileges which they enjoy as the only electric utility provider in the area and have tarnished the reputation of all electric cooperatives in Colorado. Of course, this is all legal, unregulated and even follows their seven cooperative principles – nothing there that even suggests that they should be open and honest with us member-owners. Just keep feeding us BS and you will begin to believe your own crap.
Les Shankland, P.E.