Voters Approve Municipal Broadband
- Ginny Sawyer, Policy and Project Manager, 970-224-6094, Z3Nhd3llckBmY2dvdi5jb20=
Fort Collins voters approved ballot measure 2B Tuesday with a vote of 57.15% giving the City the authority to provide high-speed broadband services to the community.
The ballot approval 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 will discuss this topic at the November 28 work session.
“The voters of Fort Collins have spoken,” said Mayor Wade Troxell. “Reliable high-speed internet and connectivity is a priority for our community and necessary to drive innovation and the economic strength of our wonderful university city.”
“In today’s digital economy, reliable, high-speed access is a necessity, not only for the tech industry, but also for our health care systems, educational institutions, and thousands of other companies and their employees who work here,” said City Manager, Darin Atteberry. “For this community to be successful, all businesses and residents should have access to affordable, reliable internet service, not just major corporations or neighborhoods that meet a certain income threshold.”
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
For more information on this project visit fcgov.com/broadband.