Plans to expand a broadband network are underway in Glenwood Springs, a city of just under 10,000 people in northwest Colorado.
The project is just one of dozens of similar efforts going on in cities and counties across the state that are either currently actively building new broadband networks or exploring their potential for local residents.
Voters in more than 100 localities in Colorado have cast ballots in favor of opting out of state legislation, known as Senate Bill 152 passed more than a decade ago, which restricted local governments from using tax payer money for the construction of local broadband networks.
Last November, 19 additional cities and counties, by significant margins, also voted in favor of being allowed to build and provide their own internet services by also rejecting the provisions of SB 152.
One of those cities is Fort Collins, where voters also gave the green light for the issuance of up to $150 million in securities and debt to build a new broadband network for area residents.
Advocates of expanding municipal broadband throughout Colorado say that its inevitable that such infrastructure will increasingly be built in the state in the near and long term future.
But they also caution that such efforts may prove particularly challenging in isolated rural communities, especially those located in mountainous areas.
In Glenwood Springs, up to $320,000 is expected to be spent this year on the first phase of a local broadband expansion project by the city’s electric department.
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