banner

Golden, Lafayette and 24 Colorado communities vote yes on broadband internet alternatives


The cities of Golden, Lafayette and 24 other Colorado municipalities approved ballot measures Tuesday allowing them to explore the idea of offering their own broadband internet service.

They join 69 other counties and municipalities in the state – or 95 total, according to Community Broadband Networks – who voted in years past to opt out of SB 152. That law passed in 2005 to restrict local governments from using taxpayer dollars to build expensive broadband networks. Voter interest in opting out is partly to increase competition and lower prices, but in more rural areas, the big internet providers, like Comcast and CenturyLink, don’t provide service.

After cities like Longmont, which opted out of SB 152 in 2011, successfully began offering gigabit internet to residents, other cities put the measure on the ballot. Last year, 44 communities said yes to municipal broadband.

On Nov. 8, 2016, 26 Colorado communities voted to opt out of SB 152, which restricts who can offer broadband Internet. Results and support rates below are from the Community Broadband Networks Initiative with the Institute for Local Self-Reliance.

    t

  • Dolores County, 78%
  • t

  • El Paso County, 66%
  • t

  • Garfield County, 73%
  • t

  • Larimer County, 72%
  • t

  • Montrose County, 71%
  • t

  • Montezuma County, 70%
  • t

  • Teller County, 56%
  • t

  • Arvada, 72%
  • t

  • Aspen, 91%
  • t

  • Basalt, 91%
  • t

  • Black Hawk, 97%
  • t

  • Breckenridge, 89%
  • t

  • Carbondale, 86%
  • t

  • Cripple Creek, 61%
  • t

  • Golden, 77%
  • t

  • Green Mountain Falls, 70%
  • t

  • Hudson, 81%
  • t

  • Lafayette, 81%
  • t

  • New Castle, 78%
  • t

  • Palisade, 78%
  • t

  • Parachute, 78%
  • t

  • Silt, 66%
  • t

  • Superior, 90%
  • t

  • Victor, 66%
  • t

  • Woodland Park, 55%

Longmont is the star example. But many other municipalities are still be in the exploratory phase, if they’ve done anything at all.

“A lot of communities are nervous and really prefer for someone else to come in and invest,” said Christopher Mitchell of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, which tracked voting in 26 municipalities Tuesday on MuniNetworks.org. “But there are just not a lot of private companies that have the ability to come in and work with communities in a partnership today.”

Google, for one, said in October it would pause operations in cities it was considered building a fast fiber network. No Colorado cities were on that potential Google Fiber list.

But one company that appears to be moving forward is Ting Internet, which hopes to latch on to the city of Centennial’s plans to build a fiber network in the city. Ting, a division of Tucows in Canada, would offer gigabit internet to city residents by connecting to that main internet pipe.

“It’s going really well. I’d be surprised and disappointed if we didn’t do it,” said Adam Eisner, Ting’s vice president of networks. “But we haven’t put a shovel in the ground yet.”

Ting is asking residents to pre-order the service for $9 at ting.com/centennial so it can gauge interest and hone in on the most interested neighborhoods as a place to start. Eisner said that it’s also dependent on the city’s construction of the fiber network, but he hopes to start in first quarter 2017. Ting, which is busy installing service in four other cities nationwide, also has seen great interest from other Colorado communities.

“What I’ve seen on the ground is we’re getting a lot of attention from different areas because of what we’ve been doing with our partnership in Centennial,” he said. “There just aren’t a lot of providers that will go, ‘Yeah, we’ll go in on that.’”

However, he added, “There are a lot of consultants in Colorado right now.”

Mitchell said that in addition to Longmont and Centennial, a number of other municipalities are now beyond the exploratory phase. Rio Blanco County is building a countywide fiber and wireless network, according to the Rio Blanco Herald Times. The Delta-Montrose Electric Association has also begun taking orders for gigibit internet to homes and businesses in south Montrose, Orchard City and Paonia.

What's Your Reaction?
WTF! WTF!
0
WTF!
Cute Cute
0
Cute
Buzz Buzz
0
Buzz
LOL LOL
0
LOL
Geeky Geeky
0
Geeky
Win Win
0
Win
Angry Angry
0
Angry
Fail Fail
0
Fail
Love Love
0
Love

log in

reset password

Back to
log in