Southern Ute Indian Tribe

Broadband Modernization Project – F.A.Q.

Question: ARE THERE GOING TO BE UNSAFE LEVELS FOR EXPOSURE TO RF (Radio Frequency) ENERGY?

Answer: No, the RF levels are substantially less than the minimum requirements from the Federal Communications Commission. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is required by the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 to evaluate the effect of emissions from FCC-regulated transmitters on the quality of the human environment. They have an extensive FAQ section that provides an official response to many of the questions that we have received. Please reference their website for more detailed responses for any related FAQ. Click here for more information: FCC Policy on Human Exposure | Federal Communications Commission and Click here for detailed, specific FAQ responses: RF Safety FAQ | Federal Communications Commission (fcc.gov)

 

Question MarkQuestion: WHAT IS RADIOFREQUENCY AND MICROWAVE RADIATION?

Answer: Please see this link from the FCC to understand the differences between radiofrequency and microwave radiation: https://www.fcc.gov/engineering-technology/electromagnetic-compatibility-division/radio-frequency-safety/faq/rf-safety#top

 

Question: WILL THERE BE ANY BIOLOGICAL EFFECTS CAUSED BY RF ENERGY?

Answer: No, the RF levels are substantially less than the minimum guidelines. Please see this link from the FCC for more detail: https://www.fcc.gov/engineering-technology/electromagnetic-compatibility-division/radio-frequency-safety/faq/rf-safety#top

 

Question: ARE WIRELESS CELLULAR AND BROADBAND COMMUNICATION SERVICE TOWERS AND ANTENNAS SAFE?

Answer: Yes. The FCC has over 30 years of research into RF safety and the possible effects. Please see the FCC’s link on RF safety: https://www.fcc.gov/engineering-technology/electromagnetic-compatibility-division/radio-frequency-safety/faq/rf-safety#top

 

Question: ARE CELLULAR AND OTHER RADIO TOWERS LOCATED NEAR HOMES OR SCHOOLS SAFE FOR RESIDENTS AND STUDENTS?

Answer: Yes, they are. The FCC has over 30 years of research into RF Safety and the possible effects. Please see the FCC’s link on RF Safety: https://www.fcc.gov/engineering-technology/electromagnetic-compatibility-division/radio-frequency-safety/faq/rf-safety#top

 

Question: WILL THIS PROJECT DISRUPT MY PROPERTY?

Answer: All underground fiber lines will be placed along State, County, Local or Oil & Gas Road utility rights-of-way and will not be occurring on any privately owned property. Boring (underground drilling) will be used to place fiber under driveways. Any inadvertent damage will be rectified. Machinery will use cameras to be able to determine before and after conditions of any property damage.

 

Question: HOW ARE WE PROTECTING ANIMALS?

Answer: We are following all guidelines for the Biological Assessment process that was completed through the Tribe’s Wildlife Department, Colorado Department of Transportation, and the United States Fish and Wildlife Service.

 

Question: HOW ARE WE PROTECTING THE ENVIRONMENT?

Answer: The construction methods used will minimize the overall amount of ground disturbance. Areas that are affected will be properly restored, seeded, and fertilized as required by the local permitting authority. Boring will be used to place fiber under any sensitive areas like wetlands, rivers, and ditches.

 

Question: HOW DO WE KNOW THE CONSTRUCTION WORKERS WHO ARE WORKING ON THIS BROADBAND PROJECT?

Answer: All construction contractors are required to have a Crossing Permit, vehicle tag, and construction permit from state, county, city, and/or Tribal agency. These documents are in each construction vehicle and will provide proof that the work is associated with the Tribe’s Broadband Project.

 

Question: HOW LONG WILL CONSTRUCTION CREWS BE WORKING NEAR/AROUND MY PROPERTY?

Answer: Depending on the type of underground placement work that’s being done (bore, trench, plow) the crew(s) should be able to complete the work around your property in 1-3 days. These days have the possibility to not be consecutive, it just depends on the type of work that’s taking place. Please note all work is being done in State, County, Local or oil and gas road utility rights-of-way and will not be occurring on any privately owned property.

 

Question: WHEN WILL I BE NOTIFIED OF FUTURE CONSTRUCTION WORK NEAR MY PROPERTY?

Answer: All residences in the affected areas will be notified by the Tribe when the project is officially starting. With the overall project potentially taking 12+ months to complete, the anticipated dates of when the project will be near your specific property is unknown at this time. Please follow the “Latest News” section on our project web site.

 

Question: WHEN WILL THE NEW NETWORK BE ACTIVATED?

Answer: The goal of the project is to activate the network to reach 50% of the living units within the Reservation by November 2022. This is required by the FCC for the Tribe to be able to retain the 2.5 GHz licensed spectrum granted to the Tribe by the FCC. The project is targeting the central Reservation to achieve this goal. The project then must reach 80% of the living units by November 2025 to retain the 2.5 GHz spectrum.

 

Question: WHEN WILL THE NEW NETWORK REACH TO THE EASTERN AND WESTERN REGIONS?

Answer: The eastern and western regions are in the Tribe’s plans. Timing is dependent on availability of funding and requires the completion of our current scope to build the middle-mile fiber network.

 

Question: IS WIRELESS BROADBAND THE ONLY TECHNOLOGY YOU ARE DELIVERING?

Answer: While the current phase is focused on wireless broadband using the FCC 2.5 GHz licensed spectrum, the project is installing 52-miles of middle mile fiber to support the wireless network and future fiber expansion. Wireless is the most cost effective and expeditious way to reach residents in the Reservation based on the difficult permitting and topography within the Reservation. With that said, the Tribe has applied for additional State and Federal funding to expand the fiber footprint to enable last mile fiber connections to the higher density communities within the Reservation.

 

Question: WHAT WILL BROADBAND PROVIDE FOR ME?

Answer: Initially, increased wireless coverage will be made available for Internet Service Providers (ISPs). This increase in coverage will provide access to the internet for more households and should drive internet costs down. As Phase II is completed, fiber to the home will become an option in the more populated areas within the reservation further increasing the bandwidth and resiliency of the available internet access.