Fort Collins considers municipal broadband

Posted at 4:22 PM, Oct 26, 2017

FORT COLLINS, Colo. -- We all use the internet every day, but do you think broadband is a public utility cities should pay for?

Voters in Fort Collins are about to decide if they want to follow Longmont’s lead in approving municipal broadband.

If voters approve the measure, the city will issue a $150 million bond to create the faster service, and provide 1 gigabyte internet for families at $70 a month.

Twenty-eight percent of the community must sign up for the business model to work.

Newly released campaign disclosures show the group against the plan, Priorities First Fort Collins, has raised more than $200,000 in just the past two weeks.

The Colorado Cable Telecommunications Association donated more than $125,000 to stop the measure.

Grassroots group Fort Collins Citizens Broadband Committee is fighting back.

“If this passes it's going to allow additional competition to come to the market. It’s not going to remove any of the private sector competition whatsoever, it just makes them compete for the first time in probably ever,” said Colin Garfield with Fort Collins Citizens Broadband Committee.

The Chamber of Commerce is also pushing for a no-vote and released this statement:

"While supporting the concept of a connected community, the Chamber is opposing this ballot issue while encouraging the City to come back with a stronger plan that favors public private partnerships."

The final round of campaign disclosures is due November 4 with voters casting ballots a few days later, on November 7.