Big Bandwidth + Small Town Living

June 8, 2023

Elevate Internet is the best of both worlds

The Johnson family may live on a rural ranch near Paonia, CO, but their work spans the globe thanks to their Elevate Internet connection. Combine the stunning surroundings of the North Fork Valley with Elevate’s advanced fiber broadband technology, and the Johnsons have found the perfect balance between modern connectivity and rural living.

In November 2022, they became Elevate Internet’s first 6 Gig customer because it allowed them the massive bandwidth required to stream simultaneous video calls, host online courses, AND upload and download between 80 and 150 gigabytes worth of data every day.

Meet the Family

  • Theron Johnson is the President of DIPCO, a Delta-based manufacturing company that produces environmentally friendly and water-saving products from biobased materials for printing presses.
  • Michelle Ruyle is the CEO of Optimized Channel, which provides sales and marketing services to IT companies. She is also Chair of the Board for Cloud Girls, which inspires and empowers women as thought leaders in the evolving cloud and next-generation technology space.
  • Sam Krump-Johnson is an Animation Producer for Call of Duty video games created by Sledgehammer Games. He manages and stages large files between locations in multiple countries, downloading and uploading play test builds (essentially the full game) daily.


Why Western Colorado?

Theron and Michelle were the first to migrate to the North Fork Valley in 2001 to start the family ranch. When the pandemic hit, Sam and Alex followed, relocating from the Bay Area as work from home became their reality. The availability of fiber internet was the deciding factor in their move.

“Personal liberty and freedom come with living in a place like Paonia,” said Sam. “Having Elevate’s 6 Gig fiber also plays into those values and opens the door to the digital space we need to do our work.”

In the Bay Area, the Johnsons also purchased 1 Gig fiber internet service, but in reality, it maxed out at about 400 megabits per second.

“All my coworkers at Sledgehammer are so jealous of the internet speeds I get in this small town.”

Meaningful Connections — from Afar

The most fulfilling part of Sam's work is launching a product and playing it with other gamers. He also values the daily connections he makes with his Sledgehammer coworkers.

“Being able to maintain a connection with those people is of the utmost importance, and I can do that with this internet. On the flip side, I'm very fulfilled by open space and nature. Working here in Paonia is the best of both worlds.”

Alex also appreciates a long-range connection from their rural home.

“Outschool has a global reach, so I get to be here in this incredible location and teach kids from all over the world. I love that. We’re connected through technology, but then I’m able to walk outside and not be connected to anything at all. Freedom here is limitless compared to having to live in big cities. It's a nice balance of what we want to do career-wise as well as building a family.”


The Impact of Elevate

For Theron and DIPCO, reliable internet has empowered them to attract a highly-skilled, flexible workforce.

“We used to really struggle with hiring qualified talent for DIPCO,” describes Theron. “Elevate made it possible to hire an engineer from Denver who wanted to move here, work from home, and raise his family. We’ve been able to hire amazing staff, and everybody who's not a production worker can work from home on fast internet.”

Michelle works with clients who offer cutting-edge IT services leveraging cloud and AI technologies. She needs uninterrupted, fast internet service, and Elevate provides just that.

“I’m fortunate to work with clients who offer cutting-edge IT services leveraging cloud & AI technologies,” says Michelle. “Having high-speed internet that is always on is a must-have to increase businesses' operational efficiencies as they utilize these next-generation technologies—all from my home office.”

Increased bandwidth allows Alex to run classes and connect with students and coworkers.

“A big part of our mission at The Reimagined Classroom is educational equity,” says Alex. “We are a fully remote team all over the country, and we believe that every kid should be successful. It doesn't matter where you come from or what you have; education should provide a door to success and opportunity. Our household’s 6 Gig helps with professionalism because we’re not constantly buffering or having audio issues. It allows me to work with publishers all over the world to create educational content that forms the future of education. That definitely gets me out of bed every day.”

For Sam, it is all about reliability.

“Internet outage is just not a thing here anymore. We've never run into problems, and it's hard to put a price tag on that. I log into a call, and it works. As it should.”


The Need for Speed

The Johnsons initially operated their workdays with Elevate’s 1 Gig service, which worked well until everyone was streaming at once.

“If everybody was on a call at the same time, it was bottlenecking. I considered getting another 1 Gig line coming up to the house, but then Elevate started offering 6 Gig. I knew we had to go for that,” said Sam.

File transfers and Zoom calls aside, the family’s bandwidth needs are just as intense outside of work. Thanks to a love of games and movies, the family is constantly downloading an enormous about of data. But there are no limits to what they can do with Elevate’s 6 Gig internet service -- crystal clear video calls, buffer-free streaming, and no-lag gaming are the norm.

The average user doesn’t need this kind of speed (yet), but the Johnsons are making good use of it. Eventually, they would like even more when the home devices and hardware on the market can handle 10 Gig service.

“I would like that extra bandwidth to be able to upgrade and keep working,” says Sam. “Then we’re future-proof, and we'll really unlock the entirety of it.”

For now, Elevate’s 6 Gig connection will continue to power the Johnson’s global connections while they grow their local roots. Sam and Alex are here to stay and have plans to build another home on the ranch.

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