Letter to the Editor: Broadband improves
I have just returned from this year’s Mountain Connect conference in Vail where the theme was developing rural broadband infrastructure through public/private partnerships. The conference was excellent and well attended (350-plus people) by Local Technology Planning Teams, county officials and industry representatives from every corner of the state. They came together to hear from industry experts on the latest trends in technology and LTPT on their successes and lessons learned.
Governor Hickenlooper’s staff announced that building broadband infrastructure throughout the state is their #1 economic development priority. Last fall, the governor announced that the Department of Local Affairs was making $20 million available to local governments for planning and building open access rural broadband infrastructure.
The good news is DOLA is working with almost every part of rural Colorado, including Routt County, to put these funds to work. There are also substantial sources of funds coming from the federal government for schools and libraries, hospitals and first responders.
Here in Steamboat Springs, your LTPT, Northwest Colorado Broadband Inc., has been hard at work the past three years. We have used a PPP to built a carrier-neutral location, purchased middle mile capacity for a group of community anchor institutions and seen their cost of broadband service drop by up to 90 percent. Our next step is to prepare a county-wide broadband plan to identify options for providing abundant, reliable and affordable service for all of Routt County.
There is still a lot of work left to do, and we will need your help to be successful. Please watch for more details as we move forward.
Colorado Mountain College representative to Northwest Colorado Broadband Inc.
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