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Jefferson County homeowners outraged after broadband boxes installed in yards

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The broadband utility box was installed in Michael Clarkson's yard in early April, before workers eventually removed it on May 15.
Posted at 10:00 PM, May 21, 2024

JEFFERSON COUNTY, Colo. — Kipling Villas in Jefferson County is the kind of neighborhood some people never want to leave.

"This community, it's so bucolic," said Michael Clarkson, describing the area surrounding his property on W. Capri Drive.

He owns the house his parents bought in 1976.

In April, Clarkson looked out the window to see several people digging up his front yard. They were there installing a utility box for a broadband company.

"It's very violating," he said, recalling the feeling he had when confronting the group of people.

A few months earlier, in February, the Kipling Villas Home Owners Association published its monthly newsletter. A portion of the newsletter read:

Why is there a box in my yard?
About every other house will have an access box in their yard. This box is necessary to access and bring fiber internet to your home.

The company, BAM Broadband, formerly known as DirectLink, installed a variety of utility boxes on a slew of yards in the subdivision.

A flyer on Jefferson County's website regarding fiber installations reads: "The Colorado General Assembly has deemed the regulation of broadband a matter of statewide concern and limited the ability of local governments to regulate the location of broadband in the local rights-of-way. Under this legislation, broadband providers are provided the authority to locate in public rights-of-way."

However, several neighbors, including Clarkson, do not believe the portions of their yards disrupted by the installations constitute as "rights-of-way."

"We can't get our county, who's usually really responsive, to act on this," Clarkson said.

A spokesperson for Jefferson County would not provide a statement or answer specific questions about the issue, but did provide a copy of the permit agreed upon between the county and BAM Broadband.

"The applicant may be able to answer any additional questions," the spokesperson said.

The permit application agrees to "Permit for work in Jeffco right of way only."

After weeks of complaining to the company and county, Clarkson said workers removed the box from his property.

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However, boxes in neighboring yards remain in place.

Denver7 contacted both BAM Broadband and the subcontractor, Splash Fiber, but we are waiting for a response.

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