When it comes to broadband delivery, the Centennial State seems to be at war with itself, according to TechDirt.com. On one hand, the Colorado state legislature passes a state Senate measure in support of broadband, on the other, it also makes it easy for local communities to reject efforts to get them connected.
Under current laws, local communities in Colorado can sidestep broadband outreach plans with a simple referendum. When offered the opportunity to say “no” to telecoms, the majority of towns have gone this route, barring Verizon, Comcast, and others from implementing construction or upgrade plans that would improve broadband in the area. TechDirt described the constrictions as both “frustrating” and “dysfunctional,” especially in the pandemic era where communication is key.
The “Opt Out” clause presented by SB-152 has so far seen 140 Colorado towns decline to work with the big players in the telecom industry. Some, like Longmont’s municipal Fiber-to-the-Home community broadband delivery system, have found ways to connect the local population. However, other communities remain unserved or underserved as towns assert their independence at the cost of inadequate connectivity, according to the account.
If Colorado intends to make peace with itself and keep Coloradoans connected, it will have to reconcile its differences, according to the account. Whether this means submitting to big telecoms, embracing community broadband, or finding a way to incorporate both into its broadband delivery system remains to be seen.