Colorado Communities Preempt State Muni Broadband Limits

The Institute for Local Self-Reliance says that all 26 of the municipal broadband-related referendums on the ballot in Colorado communities, including Aspen, were adopted Tuesday and by an average of 76% voting yes.

Those ballot initiatives, along with the other 70, make almost 100 communities who have voted to restore their ability to provide internet access, according to the institute.

Colorado state law holds that, “in the interests of uniformity of service,” no local government can provide cable or telecom services, either directly or via a joint venture or a leaseback arrangement, unless no commercial operator provides service anywhere in the municipality or does not agree to do so when asked — or if the voters say the government can, via a ballot initiative aimed at opting out of that Colorado law, known as SB 152.

“We have seen overwhelming support for local Internet choice in Colorado” said the institute's Christopher Mitchell. “These cities and counties recognize that they cannot count on Comcast and CenturyLink alone to meet local needs.”

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.