COOLIDGE — After spending months building a relationship with the local community, Germaine Pesquiera and other Alluvion Communications officials were able to celebrate the company officially going live in Coolidge with a ribbon-cutting on Sept. 15.
Their data center is within the Chamber of Commerce office on North Arizona Boulevard, and the event brought in visitors including Coolidge City Councilmember Jacque Hendrie-Henry, Vice Mayor Steve Hudson, state Rep. Teresa Martinez, R-Casa Grande, and Sen. T.J. Shope, R-Coolidge, to commemorate months of work getting the service running in Pinal.
Account Executive and Enterprise Representative Pesquiera has made himself a familiar face in Coolidge, attending the chamber luncheons every week and other community events as well as hosting, in an effort to “partner up with the community a little bit further, other than just being a utility. We don’t want to be like the other utilities,” he said.
Alluvion is a fairly new broadband provider, delivering fiber-optic internet connections to otherwise untouched parts of southern Arizona, like Ajo or on Gila River Indian Community land.
Headquartered in Chandler, Alluvion is part of Gila River Telecommunications and was started because providers like CenturyLink and Cox cannot provide service on reservation land.
With Alluvion, the telecommunications company thought “let’s provide it outside the community. So, we can do Chandler, outside Chandler; Mesa, the airport (Mesa Gateway) is another one we’re providing services to; we can deliver services to Coolidge, Casa Grande, we’re building out,” said Pesquiera. “So, hopefully by the fourth quarter of next year, we’ll be in Tucson.”
They’ve been expanding their network for a few years now, according to Pesquiera, but they only recently went live in Pinal County. His role is to build a relationship around the community before moving in, “that way they recognize us right away,” he said.
After U.S. Rep. Tom O’Halleran-backed plans to expand rural broadband corridors with the American Rescue Plan Act funds trickled down to the southern cities, Kearny and Safford, Alluvion is hoping to continue this expansion in Pinal and Pima counties.
“Our focus is to really hammer out the rural areas around the community,” said Pesquiera.
They recently won a grant to build out to Ajo.
“The majority of utilities usually just go down the freeways and they seem to forget as we’re growing population-wise in Florence; in Maricopa; in Pinal County itself; it’s just growing like wildfire, and these companies are all coming into town," Pesquiera said. “So, we want to make sure that we’re able to provide that utility, that broadband, that connectivity that they need around the area. Unfortunately, some of the larger companies, they don’t want to expand, they don’t want to build out anymore.”
That’s where Alluvion will apply for the grant, and “if we win it, we’re going to expand that network out.”
As advertised on their website, Alluvion is willing to build out fiber to interested clients that don’t see it in their area.
Since going live, Pesquiera said they have had several transactions in the first week, securing clients at Coolidge Municipal Airport and the city.
Despite being in a competitive environment for broadband utilities within Coolidge, he said they stand out as a provider because they are truthful in advertising their fiber-optic product.
As Pesquiera explained, some utilities will advertise fiber-optic connection into the home, when really, a copper wire is transmitting that connection within the last few miles or feet from a fiber-optic box. Alluvion, he said, is “just straight fiber. We have our own team, we build it, we engineer it. We do test runs first before the customer goes live.”
“Rain doesn’t affect it, rain affects copper.”
Another thing that sets Alluvion apart, he said, is that they don’t require terms.
Pesquiera said they’re going to start things off slow for now, growing their network in the commercial sphere and continuing to build their bandwidth before diving into residential service.
“Because we want to make sure we’re building enough foundation where we can support the commercial first," he said. "So once we build enough, I say bandwidth, enough people, then we hire more, then we start going toward the residential side."