Why a new ISP and why Xbar7
The Colorado flooding disaster of 2013 destroyed power and communications lines in and around Lyons, Colorado. Rural residents were completely cut off. Roads were washed out. Communication landlines were all down. Residents, cut off from the rest of Lyons, found themselves gathering on hilltops in the few spots that had cell tower access for what were colloquially dubbed “cellphone call parties”. This became the only way to communicate with family and friends or gather information about what was happening in the greater Denver area. While a temporary road was constructed, power, phone and internet remained down. It became apparent that phones and internet would not be restored for a very long time. Prior to the flooding internet access was still very difficult as there were limited dsl lines from the phone company and spotty coverage from alternate providers due to the mountainous, rural setting. Oskar Atkinson and Scott Campbell, 2 local residents, who are both IT professionals, decided to take steps to bring internet access to these residents.
Scott and Oskar were able to partner with the City of Longmont Power and Communications to bring in a fixed wireless connection. The new system was brought online at the first residence September the 24th at 9:30 pm. Within 12 days internet service was expanded to serve about 15 families.
We chose to name our company XBar7 Communications, LLC as a reference to the history of this area being one large ranch – XBar7 – which was subdivided into the Blue Mountain community.
(November 2017), besides the traditional xBar7, we service Pinewood Springs, Spring Gulch and along County Rd 37E
(June 2018 ) we have fiber optic lines in the ground in some areas of Pinewood Springs and are actively expanding our fiber network
We now have direct access to a fiber backbone. The data are “hauled in” via several FCC licensed microwave links to Blue Mountain and then distributed locally as well as Pinewood Springs and other rural neighborhoods
On 7/24/2019 xBar7 received a grant from the State of Colorado to bring service into Big Elk Meadows
(December 2020) We now have all the required permits and licenses for the Big Elk Project. One day after receiving the building permit for the Big Elk tower, the anchors were drilled and a day later epoxied.
Also in 2020 we bought some used Vermeer HDD ( Horizontal Directional Drilling ) equipment, trencher and excavator. Why? Simply to keep install costs for fiber lines in bay. Call it “Community DIY”
Today in Q4/2022, we lease multiple high capacity fiber lines from a data center in downtown Denver into our neighborhood – Pinewood Springs will have fiber connectivity either by end of 2022 or early next year.
Our goal is to provide fast, reliable internet service to our rural community.