Castle Creek Broadband

News and Updates

Updates to the Castle Creek Broadband project will be posted here, so please check back frequently (castlecreekbroadband.com).

Do you live in the area and want to know more about Castle Creek broadband? Give us a call at 970-808-0000 for more details.

October 2018

– 10/26/2018 – Pathfinder is happy to update you with the progress we have made on the Castle Creek Broadband Project. We are making good headway with all of the tasks we are trying to accomplish before the ground freezes. Granted, Pathfinder has had a few delays this month, but overall we continue to work diligently to accomplish our goal of delivering broadband internet to the Castle Creek Valley residents. 

This week Pathfinder crews finished boring the final road crossings for the first phase of our Castle Creek Broadband project. Barring any unforeseen Right of Way blockages that would require Pathfinder to find an alternate route under Castle Creek Road, Pathfinder crews should not have to drill and install any further perpendicular fiber conduit underneath Castle Creek Road until phase two begins next spring (2019). 

Pathfinder has been in communication with the first round of Fiber Customers along Castle Creek Road, and we are scheduling their residential installations to start next week (October 29).  Depending on weather and ground conditions, Pathfinder expects to begin the residential installations on Midnight Mine Road starting the week of November 5, and residential installations on North and South Hayden Road the following week. Because weather in Colorado can be quite unpredictable, Pathfinder's goal is to continue working as fast, safe, and thorough as possible until we winterize. 

In other news: Pathfinder has been working alongside the engineers of the Pitkin County Broadband Initiative to try formulate a partnership that can benefit everyone in the Roaring Fork Valley, effective October, 2018.  Pitkin County Broadband Initiative has an official vetting process for internet companies to complete before being considered an official partner. Pathfinder has completed the required steps to be considered a formal re-seller of their wireless services. This allows Pathfinder to use our fiber facilities in the Castle Creek Valley to deliver wireless, high-speed internet, and allows Pathfinder to find cost savings for the residents in the Castle Creek Valley.  Pathfinder will deliver more detailed updates on the products related to this program in future posts. 

As always, if you have questions about the Castle Creek Broadband Project, please feel free to call our main office line at 970.808.0000 and we will be happy to talk with you.

– 10/03/2018 2:00pm - UPDATE: CenturyLink informed Pathfinder that all lines are back up and running smoothly as of 1:30pm. Thank you, everyone, for all of your patience and hard work!

– 10/02/2018 8:00pm - UPDATE: Three specific locations were found in which the telecommunication line was damaged. Though Pathfinder's crew works hard to ensure the protection and safety of all known and pre-existing lines, the entire length of this line was undocumented and unable to be detected in time for the damage to be avoided. CenturyLink crews  will work with Pathfinder's repair crew to fix the line. CenturyLink has determined they will begin repairs tomorrow (10/03) promptly at 9:00am. Pathfinder will continue to give updates as we receive them.

– 10/02/2018 -  Another  undocumented telecommunication wire has been damaged during Pathfinder's excavation, causing internet and/or phone outage starting with the residents of Conundrum Creek and continuing up along Castle Creek Road. Pathfinder's contractor came in contact with the wire early this afternoon as they were drilling underground to lay Fiber Optic conduit. The repair team is working diligently alongside CenturyLink contractors to get all sites back online, and will continue working until the issue is resolved. Pathfinder will update all customers as soon as repairs have been made and everyone is back online. 

September 2018

Fiber making its way along Castle Creek Road

– 9/21/2018 – Pathfinder crews continue to make progress along Castle Creek Road as we are cleaning up the first 2.5 miles of conduit. Due to proximity to existing utilities, the crew has been required to do more open trenching in order to avoid damaging any pre-existing lines. This has slowed our cadence, but safety and utility outage prevention is paramount on Pathfinder's priority list, so we must abide and continue open trenching. 

On Thursday, September 20, Pathfinder's Project Manager met with the Head Contractor to discuss facilitating the installation of fiber from Castle Creek Core to customers' houses. The first 2.5 miles of fiber installation along Castle Creek Core will be 100% complete by Wednesday, September 26, and installation to the first customers' homes will begin shortly after. 

Pathfinder continues to draft easements for the privately owned areas land along the Castle Creek Core which will be touched by the project's installation. After permission is granted through these easements, Pathfinder will be able to make larger strides towards the completion of this project. Pathfinder would like to thank all the land owners who have already approved utility easements. Your efforts and cooperation are much appreciated!

August 2018

Fiber conduit poking out of the earth

– 8/31/2018 – Pathfinder is happy to announce that Pitkin County has released the permit required to deliver services to private residences in the Castle Creek Valley. We are finishing our punch list on fiber buried up to South Hayden Road, and will be finalizing this section in the coming week before we move on to delivering services to contracted customers. 

Pathfinder has been working very closely with the National Forest Service throughout the entire Castle Creek Broadband project. Pathfinder is using an existing utility Right of Way, part of which passes through forest service land.  Pathfinder is making every effort to ensure the cultural resources are protected and will not be negatively affected by the progression of the Castle Creek Project. Pathfinder contracted an archaeologist to confirm there would be no disturbance while continuing our project along the Right of Way, and we have received a Section 106 from the archaeologist which indicated "no historic properties [will be] affected" along the Castle Creek Road. The State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) has concurred with the findings in the Section 106. 

As it relates to the delivery of internet service to our contracted customers, Pathfinder contacted Pitkin County last week for a delivery update. The County is working with other backhaul providers and are currently estimating delivery of their circuit to Pathfinder on October 1. 

We will have more updates in September. Until then, enjoy the Labor Day weekend!

The blade of a vibratory plow.

– 8/17/2018 – Progress is continuing along Castle Creek Road. Conduit has been placed in the ground as far south as South Hayden Road, roughly 3.1 miles into the project! Pathfinder's primary focus for the next couple of weeks is to finalize the conduit path from the beginning of the project to South Hayden. This involves some boring/drilling that will be done underneath certain driveways, and will also include installing the concrete handholes along the route. 

Pathfinder is still working with the City of Aspen to finalize the location of the outdoor enclosures. We will have a meeting next week with the appropriate City representatives. We will keep you posted as we learn more information.  

– 8/3/2018 – Pathfinder is making great progress along Castle Creek Road! Currently we are staging 30,000 feet of fiber to be installed. 

The month of July had been challenging, but Pathfinder is making good progress. Due to the narrow roadway corridor and an undocumented wire, the excavation team damaged a phone line, negatively impacting phone service in the Castle Creek Valley for over 48 hours. Pathfinder is working with Pitkin County's Broadband Initiative which will provide the bandwidth for Castle Creek Valley Residents. We were recently informed of a delay in the delivery of this bandwidth and we were requested by the City of Aspen to find an alternate location for one of our outdoor enclosures, both of which may delay services to our customers who live within the first 3 miles of the project.

However, in keeping up with the company's name, Pathfinder is finding ways to overcome the obstacles in its track. Pathfinder was successful in completing an intensive archaeological study of the Castle Creek Valley, which has been submitted to the Forest Service for review. Pathfinder also has implemented a thorough safety protocol for our team prior to each day's construction activities. Some of the steps in the 12-step safety process include: setting up traffic control for the day to meet MUTCD standards, calling in Locates in the area of work along the Right Of Way, and attending a morning work safety and planning meeting which include walking the work area and marking any issues that have been identified. Overall, Pathfinder is optimistic about the project as we are taking the proper steps to ensure it gets completed with utmost care and precision. 

July 2018

– 7/26/2018 4:15pm - UPDATE: Pathfinder is happy to announce that CenturyLink has completed all of the necessary splicing required to get all phones back online. We have been informed that CenturyLink has one last piece of equipment to check, but we believe that all landlines have been restored and the issue has been resolved. Thank you, everyone, for your patience and understanding throughout the duration of this unpredictable event.   

– 7/26/2018 2:15pm - CenturyLink service technicians are still working hard to repair all phone lines, and are hoping to complete all service requests by 5:00pm today. The CenturyLink service technicians are currently working in an area that has limited cell service, but Pathfinder will continue making updates as we receive notice. If you are a Castle Valley resident experiencing phone outages and have not yet requested help, please do so by emailing help@path-finder.us. We are happy to assist in any way we can. 

– 7/26/2018 11:30am - Pathfinder was notified early this morning that several Castle Valley residents still do not have operable phone lines. Pathfinder called CenturyLink and opened service tickets for the residents who contacted Pathfinder for help. CenturyLink will send out their service technicians to try find solutions for these issues. Castle Valley residents will be notified individually when progress is made on their phone lines. If you are experiencing phone outages, you can request Pathfinder help by emailing help@path-finder.us. 

– 7/25/2018 9:50pm – CenturyLink crews notified Pathfinder that the Ashcroft lines have been repaired and they are working on the remaining lines in Castle Creek that are reported down.

– 7/25/2018 – Pathfinder and CenturyLink crews are continuing to repair the damaged line. They are working as fast as possible, and expect customers to be back online by 5:30 pm MST. 

– 7/24 & 25/2018 – An undocumented wire was damaged during excavation which has caused some Castle Creek and Ashcroft customers to experience internet and/or phone outage. Yesterday the contractor working with Pathfinder on excavation came in contact with the wire as they were drilling underground to lay Fiber Optic conduit along Castle Creek Road. The crew is working diligently alongside CenturyLink contractors to get all sites back online. Currently Ashcroft remains offline, however Pathfinder will update all customers as soon as repairs have been made and everyone is back online. 

Pathfinder puts forth every effort possible to protect existing utility lines that are marked and known. Excavation has inherent risks, and wires exist underground that are not well documented as they were installed before GPS location technology was available. All Pathfinder activity has ceased moving forward to direct full attention to restoring services until Ashcroft comes back online. 

Open trench section along Castle Creek.

– 7/16/2018 – Last week we laid over 1800 feet of conduit into the ground. We are bringing in additional equipment and expect our progress to reach as much as 1 mile per week. 

Fiber cable along Castle Creek being pulled through the earth.

– 7/9/2018 – Construction has begun! Two crews have started excavation and installation of conduit. We will keep you updated on the progress. We anticipate some customers will have service starting in August. 

June 2018

– Pathfinder recently had a great meeting with the City of Aspen and Pitkin County and have completed our pre-construction walk-through. One of our locations is under review by the City of Aspen to ensure it will not interfere with nearby utilities. If all goes well we will start construction this week.
We expect to be able to provide service to some customers by August. If you haven’t already signed up for service with Pathfinder, contact us now for a timely installation. If you live within three miles of Aspen Valley Hospital and you are interested in internet service, contact Pathfinder as soon as possible so they can start planning to get fiber connected from the highway to your home. Please visit path-finder.us and fill out a contact request form or give Pathfinder a call at 970.808.0000 if you would like more information.

April 2018

– The last public reading will be held on Wednesday, April 25th, after which we expect 

to receive the permit. In the meantime, we have been meeting with homeowners to discuss installation options, so please visit path-finder.us and fill out a contact request form or give Pathfinder a call at 970.808.0000 if you would like more information. We’re excited to get started!

March 2018

– Check out the newest Aspen Times article about the project’s recent progress.

– We’re excited to provide an update on the Castle Creek Broadband project, as things are moving forward this spring. We just had a productive meeting with the County Commissioners in Aspen. We will be attending the next County Commissioners meeting for the final work session soon, and then will have the final review before the permit is issued. We’re hoping to start digging in May. Pathfinder will be speaking with homeowners who have already contacted them with requests for service within the next two weeks. If you haven’t contacted them yet and are interested in receiving internet service at your home in Castle Creek Valley, please visit path-finder.us and fill out a contact request form, or give Pathfinder a call at 970.808.0000.

October 2017

– Farr Shepherd met with the Pitkin County Commissioners on behalf of Decypher Technologies and Pathfinder. They discussed the project’s benefit to the community, the advantages of fiber and wireless internet over satellite or broadband connections, and the potential to add cellular amplification as a service over the fiber network. Public safety is increased when cellular signal is available at trailheads so that the public can call emergency response services if necessary, instead of driving down-valley until cell signal is reached. Decypher Technologies plans to donate an outdoor cellular antenna to the trailhead of Pitkin County’s choosing to benefit the community’s safety. The project will move forward at Pitkin County’s discretion, pending approval. As soon as the permit is approved and weather permits, digging will commence for the fiber network. This may begin in the spring of 2018 after the ground thaws. Above-ground work may commence earlier, pending permit approval.

Pathfinder is the internet service provider in the Roaring Fork valley that has been chosen to partner with Decypher on the project. Pathfinder will work towards providing service in the Castle Creek Valley, with plans to expand throughout Aspen, Snowmass and Vail. Pathfinder is led by Farr Shepherd, Ande Grillo and Jeremy Petti, long-time valley residents. Jeremy was formerly with Rise Broadband and Sopris Surfers as a network engineer with over 18 years of experience.

July/August 2017

– Decypher Technologies, a local technology communications company, was approached to perform a feasibility study for a fiber optic line in Aspen for the Castle Creek Valley with the goal of working with Pitkin County to bring reliable internet and cellular service to long-time valley residents who haven’t had service options in the past. Read the Aspen Times article about the project, and stay tuned for more.