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Broadband Strategic Plan

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At the November 28 work session Fort Collins City Council will review alternatives, timeline of work and governance recommendation for broadband, in light of voters approving ballot measure 2B with a vote of 57.15 percent.

The ballot approval gives the City the authority to provide high-speed broadband services to the community. It does not mean the City will immediately provide municipal retail broadband, or that a third-party internet service provider would offer the service. It gives City Council the legal authority to provide broadband services if it so chooses.

Council has narrowed its scope to either a retail option or a public-private partnership. In the retail model, the City builds out the infrastructure, known as Fiber to the Premise (FTTP), and operates as an internet service provider (ISP). The third-party alternative would involve a public private partnership (P3) with an ISP.

With the passage of 2B, Council has the authority to:

  • Add telecommunication/broadband services to the City’s electric utility or provide those services through a new telecommunications utility
  • Issue securities and other debt not to exceed $150M
  • Establish governance structure including the ability to:
    • Go into executive sessions for matters relating to competition in telecommunications industry
    • Establish and delegate Council’s authority and power to a board and/or commission, except the power to issue debt
    • Delegate the ability to set and/or change rates or fees to the City Manager

The City issued an RFP for public private partnerships related to broadband service. Currently, staff is vetting those RFP responses and will provide a report and recommendations to Council. Staff has also completed a high-level broadband business plan, which is a living document that will be updated as more information is available.

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The City of Fort Collins is pursuing business plan details on both a retail model and a third party alternative for next generation high-speed broadband. In the retail model the City builds out the infrastructure, known as Fiber to the Premise (FTTP), and operates as an internet service provider (ISP). The third party alternative would involve a public private partnership (P3) with an ISP.

Residents will have the opportunity through the ballot measure and vote to in November 2017 to determine whether or not the City should pursue this option. If the ballot measure passes, it will take 3 to 5 years to build out the new network and start offering the services.

Broadband Updates