Longmont, Colorado Wins Right To Use Its Own Broadband

Comcast and CenturyLink have failed to create a repeat of their 2009 victory in the city of Longmont, Colorado. The city wanted to use its own broadband infrastructure instead of relying on ISP's like Comcast and CenturyLink, but state law required that a referendum be passed by the town's citizens in order to use it. In 2009 broadband providers Comcast and CenturyLink spent an obscene amount of money to convince residents of the town that it was a bad idea. The plan worked and citizens rejected it by 56 percent of the vote.

But residents figured out when the dust settled that they had largely been mislead by service providers. This year they smartened up. Longmont's Ballot Question 2A won on Tuesday night, carrying about 60 percent of the vote. The vote lifts the state restrictions on the city's use of its 17-mile-long fiber-optic loop, allowing it to offer services to residents and businesses either directly or through a partner of its choosing.

The city has been sitting on the 17-mile fiber-optic loop since 1997. The $1.1 million cost was paid for by the Platte River Power Authority. The loop remained dark because of a 2005 Colorado state law that barred the city from providing retail access to it, either directly or through a private partner.

While Longmont has won this fight, they still face legal challenges and pressure provided by groups interested in seeing it fail.

Source: DSL Reports

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