(ABC4 UTAH NEWS – Vernal, UT)
There’s a special kind of cloud in Uintah County…and it’s been there for years. What kind of cloud? I had a chance to join Utah Lt. Governor Cox for a tour on a building off the main highway going through the heart of Vernal. From the outside, the building is rather non-descript. We get buzzed in through the doors and find ourselves in a techy lobby with a thick wall of ceiling to floor glass.
Peering through the glass wall you are greeted by a security system that seems straight out of a sci-fi movie. We are greeted by a biometric facial scan that you have to be logged into the system before it’ll let you in.
We are there to tour the Strata Networks data center. Our host tells us “this is nothing compared to what it will be.”
Situated right off highway 191 in Vernal, the facility provides phone, TV and high-speed-fiber internet services to about 8,000 square miles of northeastern Utah and northwestern Colorado. An area known as the Uintah Basin.
Strata provides a basic connection that allows people and businesses to safely store huge amounts of data. Techies, like Cox, describes this as “the Cloud.” He told me “the cloud is here. The cloud is in data centers, like this data center, where there are servers and your information are transported via the internet to these servers where it’s stored.”
So, how does such an important part of our lives end up in rural Utah? According to the CEO/General Manager of Strata Networks, Bruce Todd, “This data center is one of the securest, safest locations you can find. We do not have the earthquakes, the hurricanes, tornadoes. It’s an area with fairly low humidity, so equipment works well.”
Not only does broadband internet speed attracts businesses to the Uintah basin, it also makes higher education accessible through telecommunications.
Sylvia Wilkins, Uintah County Economic Development Director said; “We are very closely connected to the rest of the world. You can get certificate, bachelor’s, even up to a doctorate degree right here in the Basin.”
Technology matters. With ideas moving at the speed of light, there are big things coming in communications, medical and transportation. According to Tyler Rasmussen, Community Affairs Director, Strata Networks; “Those kinds of technologies are being developed today and I think will be very real.”
With another Utah Success Story, I’m Doug Jessop.
This story contains sponsored content.