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Television streaming with Red Bolt Broadband

2:08PM September 30, 2019

A local television provider in our area recently stopped service. This presents a great opportunity for Red Bolt Broadband customers. 

Nationwide, “cable-cutting” has become a way of life with the ability to stream live local TV stations, favorite shows, and tons of movies through subscriptions to streaming applications. You can even watch your favorite sports team through various regional sports networks. 

Streaming services give you the freedom that classic cable and satellite do not. Watch whatever you want, whenever you want! Catch up on your favorite TV shows or watch a movie at a time convenient for you. You no longer are chained to a specific timeframe to watch those favorites on any device at any time with the right subscription and app. 

Streaming apps range in price from $7.99 to $99, depending on the options you choose.

If you would like more information, click here for the Consumer Report Guide to Streaming Video Services. Or come by our office, and we'll give you a demonstration.




Making a Payment

1:06PM January 07, 2019

Paying your Red Bolt Broadband bill is easy, and you have a few options to get your payment to us. 

If you pay your account by check, please submit your Red Bolt Broadband payment separate of your Continental Divide Electric payment. You can make payments in person at 200 East High Street, or mail it to PO Box 1087 Grants, NM 87020.

You can also pay your bill through our free and secure automated telephone payment system. To make a credit or debit card payment, call this toll-free number 1-844-859-5979. Your account number is required.

Finally, you can view and pay your electric and broadband accounts online at CDEC.smarthub.coop. Your account number is required to sign up for online bill pay. You can also register for e-billing, and you will stop receiving a paper bill. 

If you have any questions regarding payment methods, please contact our office at (505) 285-6656.


Red Bolt Broadband Progress Update

6:00PM November 16, 2018

An updated Red Bolt Broadband map is now online, and we anticipate service available to most of Grants by the first part of 2019!

Click on the “Map” tab to view the final phase for the Grants buildout, which includes the area just south of Grants, along Zuni Canyon Road. Although we try to be as accurate as possible, there may be in instances where service is not yet available to a particular address. Please understand we are working diligently to reach as many members as quickly as possible. 

Currently, fiber-optic internet service through Red Bolt is available to about half of the Grants residents. Make-ready construction is nearly complete for the remainder. Electric system upgrades to CDEC's equipment is making Red Bolt service possible. These upgrades are necessary for the co-op to continue to deliver safe and reliable power through the implementation of SCADA, a program that allows the co-op to monitor power quality and outages in real time.

In 2019, CDEC plans to expand Red Bolt Broadband into the Village of Milan, Bluewater Village and San Rafael. 

As a not-for-profit electric cooperative, CDEC will reinvest margins from Red Bolt Broadband into the development and maintenance of infrastructure and services throughout our local communities.

Please check back frequently to view map updates, progress and plans for future Red Bolt Broadband service. 


Red Bolt Broadband's Wireless Router

6:39PM November 09, 2018

An option you have with Red Bolt Broadband is a router that provides wireless internet (Wi-Fi) throughout your home. 

 

Although renting our router is not required, you'll experience peace of mind by taking your online experience to new heights with our Calix GigaCenter wireless router. 

 

We all want fast, reliable Wi-Fi throughout our homes and businesses. And, with more devices connecting to your network than ever before and an increasing need for bandwidth, nothing less than the best will do! Red Bolt's wireless router is capable of providing ample Wi-Fi bandwidth and speed to multiple devices.

 

What can you do with a strong signal in every room and blazing-fast speeds? You can seamlessly stream HD video, enjoy online gaming with your friends, and share anything and everything without missing a beat!

 

For an additional $7.00 per month, rent a wireless router from Red Bolt Broadband and experience true high-speed internet throughout your home, along with the comfort of Wi-Fi tech support by our Red Bolt team. You'll also receive free equipment upgrades and hassle-free replacement if something happens to your router.  

 

Have more questions? Give us a call or stop by our office and one of our friendly Member Service Representatives are happy to answer your questions.  




A Typical Service Installation

2:38PM April 19, 2018

CDEC currently offers two internet packages – based on speed – to both residential and small business customers. For larger businesses, service-level agreements are available and tailored to suit the customer’s need. You can read about these on the “Products” tab above.

All of CDEC’s internet customers have access to unlimited data usage and the option of renting a router for connectivity. 

Utilizing our router option ensures a customer receives the symmetrical speeds that only direct Fiber-To-The-Home (FTTH) is capable of providing. And, if you have any issues with our router, CDEC will replace it at no additional cost. 

A typical service installation consists of these steps:
1.      You can sign up for service on this site or at our Grants office. You will receive our customer agreement, terms and conditions and our policies. 
2.     After you sign up for service, one of our meter technicians will go to your service location and install the necessary equipment to your electrical meter base.
3.     Next, a contractor will place a fiber-optic line from the service pole to your meter, connect the fiber-optic cabling and install the optical network terminal that delivers service to the router.
4.     Finally, an install crew will connect the internet cable to the inside of your home and set up your router (if you have taken advantage of CDEC’s router). Before the installer leaves, he or she will test your internet connection and speed.

Standard installation consists of 100 feet of cable from where your outside equipment is placed to where the cable enters your home, as well as 10 feet of cable inside your home. For the safety of our install crews, we do not go through attics or crawlspaces. If your installation requires anything beyond our standard installation, the co-op reserves the right to assess additional charges.

Your internet bill is mailed separate from your electric bill at the first of every month. Your first bill will consist of a prorated amount for the partial first-month’s use, as well as the next full month’s charges.

If service is not currently available in your area, you can express your interest in subscribing to it when it is. Once you express your interest, CDEC will contact you as soon as our service becomes available. 





Grants Meter Survey Underway

4:15PM March 01, 2018

Continental Divide Electric Cooperative has contracted with Pulse Broadband to verify locations of electrical meters and service addresses and survey pole attachments.

The digital update of meter locations is necessary for CDEC to install equipment for its communication upgrade known as SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition system) to improve our electric distribution system’s reliability. This survey will also enable CDEC to provide access to fiber internet services at businesses and home. 

Pulse crews work Monday through Friday, between dawn and dusk and carry CDEC-issued ID badges with employee names and pictures, along with a CDEC “Letter of Authority” giving Pulse employees access to its power lines and equipment, including electric meters. Pulse employees travel in vehicles that display exterior signs identifying them as a utility contractor with Continental Divide Electric Cooperative.

As a courtesy, CDEC and its contractors try to alert residents who live in work areas, even though notification is not required. Notification is not required because residents – at the time they sign up for service – give the co-op permission to access their property in the event of repairs, maintenance or upgrades.

Pulse technicians will attempt to make contact with the residents and leave door hangers when necessary. CDEC and Pulse appreciate our members’ patience and cooperation during this ongoing survey. If you have any concerns or questions about the project, contact the co-ops at (505) 285-6656.



How Our Broadband Project is Possible

1:30PM February 19, 2018

CDEC’s broadband service is made possible through communication upgrades to the co-op’s electric system and with the blessing of the co-op’s members.

In 2016, CDEC’s membership voted in favor of a bylaw amendment to allow CDEC to work toward providing voluntary broadband internet and telecommunication services to customers. As a result, in 2017 CDEC began construction on a Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) system, a fiber-optic communication backbone connecting the co-op’s substations to a central command center at its Grants headquarters. The first phase of SCADA will connect the co-op’s Grants and Bluewater substations to the command center.            

This infrastructure improvement will enable SCADA communication, a modern digital energy management system used to monitor, control and optimize the performance of electrical distribution. SCADA will allow CDEC to provide safe and reliable electricity to its members more efficiently. This fiber-optic investment to improve the delivery of power also gives the co-op the opportunity to offer high-speed, broadband internet service to businesses and residents through the same fiber-optic network. 

As construction of CDEC’s broadband network progresses, the public can expect visits from contractors with Pulse Broadband, Kelly Cable, and C.B.R. Services, companies that specialize in the design and building of fiber systems. Pulse is identifying poles that need make-ready improvements to ensure safety and reliability of the co-op’s electric and broadband networks. Kelly Cable and C.B.R. Services, both New Mexico-based companies, are performing the make-ready construction and stringing the fiber-optic lines on the co-op’s power poles.


Update on CDEC’s New High-Speed Internet Service

1:54PM February 08, 2018

Your not-for-profit co-op’s internet service is now available to residents and businesses along West High Street and West Santa Fe Avenue and some households located on Water Tank Hill. Those interested in subscribing should register on this site, bookmark this page for future updates and regularly view the map for new service availability.

By the end of the year, most of Grants will be able to subscribe. CDEC then plans to expand its broadband system into nearby areas such as the Village of Milan, Bluewater Village and San Rafael.CDEC offers symmetrical internet service that allows information to be sent at the same speed it's delivered, according to the co-op’s Information Technology and Broadband Project Manager Cesar Martin.

“This is known as ‘symmetrical speed’ which has become desirable, and even necessary to take advantage of cloud-based backups, computing through cloud-based applications, gaming, high-definition video streaming and the increasing use of multiple devices accessing the internet, simultaneously. Our robust, fiber-based platform will enhance the users’ ability to utilize the internet for telephone and video/web conferencing,” he said.

To put CDEC’s internet speed – and, more importantly, its need – into better perspective, according to the most recent Federal Communication Commission’s report, most rural Americans lack access to what is currently considered the benchmark for “broadband” internet speed. The FCC’s benchmark is 25 Mbps download speed, and 3 Mbps upload speed. The 2016 report found that 96 percent of the population in Cibola County did not have access to the FCC’s definition of broadband internet, which has become critical to the quality of life and economic development in the 21st century.

“We looked at this from all facets and determined it’s an important investment for our communities and members. And, our co-op is best positioned to offer high-speed internet through fiber-optic connection,” CDEC CEO Robert E. Castillo said.

CDEC’s effort is in step with a movement happening throughout the country. “Kit Carson Electric Co-op in Taos began a similar fiber-to-the-home project in 2010, and nationwide nearly 100 electric cooperatives are embracing the movement with growing support from our federal government. It’s a viable investment for a not-for-profit cooperative that owns the infrastructure, to improve its communities with these services,” Castillo said.

Finally, as a not-for-profit organization, CDEC will reinvest margins from its internet service into the development and maintenance of broadband infrastructure and services throughout our local communities.

What are internet speeds? What do they mean? And, why are they important?

1:56PM January 30, 2018

By now, most, if not everyone is familiar with terms used to describe internet data packages.


Kilobytes (KB), megabytes (MB) and gigabytes (GB) are forms of digital storage. The more we have, the more we can download. Downloads are important when surfing the web, playing games and watch videos. Devices need a place to store all of this information.

Similar terminology is used to describe the speed at which you can download and uploads these bytes of information.

The speed of data transferred is measured in “bits.” Your download and upload speeds are how fast you can receive and send information. Typically, the starting point for speed measurement is “megabit per second” (Mbps). The more bits you have, the speedier your online activity should be. A megabit is one-eighth of a megabyte.

Still with me?

Let’s get down to how these numbers affect your online experience.

Given that a megabit is one-eighth of a megabyte, it will take about eight seconds to transfer a 1 MB file, per Mbps of internet service you have.

Say I have a connection of 1.5 Mbps download speed, and I want to download a picture. Of course, the size of the file will make all of the difference, and my favorite photo is nearly 4 MB in size. That means, with the 1.5 Mbps connection it’s going to take me almost a minute to download that picture.

If I have a 50 Mbps connection, I can download about 50 photos in the same amount of time. Fifty pictures! I can also download a typical five-minute song in one second and instantly watch many of my favorite HD movies from my online streaming services.

Ok, ok, I’m sure there are a few of you thinking, “I don’t download much, I just surf the web.”

Well, I'm sure you’ve noticed every website is different; some are pretty much plain text, others have a lot of pictures, and increasingly many have videos. Your internet speed, along with a few other factors, also affect how fast a website’s pages download. And given that the average webpage is about 3 MB, it takes about 25 seconds for the average webpage to load on your screen with the 1.5-Mbps connection I mentioned earlier. A 50-Mbps connection loads that webpage instantly!

So, what else can you do with internet speed?

Assuming you have one device (TV, smartphone, tablet or computer) in the house, a 3-Mbps connection can allow you to watch standard definition (SD) videos with little buffering.

With a 5-Mbps connection, you can experience high definition (HD) videos, but with the same inconvenience of buffering.

To thoroughly enjoy uninterrupted HD and ultra HD videos on 4K television – the latest generation of tv – you need at least a 25-Mbps connection.

Connectivity through super-fast speeds also dramatically improves multi-device connections. For example, on any given night, the kids can play on their smart devices or do internet research for that big school project; your teens can play the latest-and-greatest online video game; all the while, you’re streaming your favorite movie and winding down from the long day.

Keep in mind that all of these devices simultaneously connected to your network ultimately slow down your connection.

Internet service of 50 Mbps is ideal for a home with what has become basic needs for multiple devices. You can download an entire HD movie in just under 15 minutes, or stream SD movies and TV programming and still have sufficient speed for the rest of your household’s educational and entertainment needs. 

A 100 Mbps service will enable you to do all of the above and more, but faster and on more devices. Download an entire HD movie in about 5 minutes. Have a gamer in your home? If so, the average video game is 20 GB, which will take just under 30 minutes to download with this connection.

One final, but very important thing to remember is that CDEC’s broadband service offers symmetrical speeds, meaning you can send info just as fast as you receive it. This is what makes our fiber-to-the-home unique because most upload speeds in our market are delivered through other technology and at a fraction of CDEC’s download speed. Upload speed is essential to uninterrupted Skype/FaceTime (video calls) and other interactions online that utilize video. You can also upload all of your pictures to a cloud backup and collaborate on school or work projects, in real time.

When thinking about internet speeds that will best fit your household, keep in mind what you’ll be using the internet for and how many devices you'll have connected at any given time.

Here we go!

1:15PM October 30, 2017

CDEC’s mission to provide its members high-speed internet is taking off! 

We are excited to announce that a small group of customers along West High Street and the north side of West Santa Fe Avenue are now eligible for service. 

We continue to design the rest of our fiber-optic internet system and appreciate your patience, as the effort to build to your home or business requires a lot of planning, construction and infrastructure upgrades. 

Your enthusiasm and excitement have been our driving force! If you're interested in our high-speed internet service, you can help by joining our list on this site. Doing so will enable us to contact you, as soon as we plan to bring service to your neighborhood.

We’re one step closer, and we look forward to sharing our progress with you. Check back often to find out what we're up to and how much closer we are to bringing lightning-fast internet to you!


How CDEC's new high-speed internet service came about

1:40PM September 19, 2017

Several years ago, some of our members asked us to explore the idea of providing high-speed internet to CDEC’s service area. So, we started to dig; and the deeper we dug, the more this idea made sense. Finally, in 2014, we decided to survey our membership and learned the need for high-speed internet was great and spanned across our service territory.

During our research, we also learned that a high-speed, two-way communications backbone was essential for CDEC to run an efficient electric utility in the 21st century. By upgrading how our distribution system communicates, CDEC could implement Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA), a digital energy management system used to monitor, control and optimize the electric distribution system performance.

We started to work on the logistics of how we could accomplish SCADA and offer its byproduct:  Broadband. In 2016, our membership voted unanimously in support of a bylaw amendment to allow CDEC to offer high-speed internet. In the time since then, we have been working with other electric co-ops that have successfully launched broadband services, learning all we can to replicate their successes. And, we’ve been working with contractors to design our broadband network throughout the city of Grants.