Election Day 2015 sent a resounding message in favor of local Internet choice in Colorado. After more than 40 Colorado communities voted overwhelmingly to reclaim local authority over broadband, the Denver Post editorialized that Colorado’s anti local choice law should be “retired.”
The Post noted that the “misguided legislation from a decade ago prohibited cities and counties from spending money on improving broadband service without a public vote. Senate Bill 152 in 2005 was supported by the industry to ensure private Internet providers wouldn’t have to compete with government-funded data networks.”
And the Post also noted that “most of the cities and counties that approved the measures were in rural parts of the state that too often have been left off the Internet superhighway. They don’t necessarily have plans for investment, but they do want the freedom to take action or to cooperate with private providers to enhance the economic vitality of their region.”
A Colorado Municipal League representative summed up the ballot initiative in an earlier Denver Post article. “Broadband Internet is the streets, sewers and water lines of our time,” according to Geoff Wilson, CML’s general counsel. “As high-speed data connections have become increasingly crucial to luring high-paying jobs to Colorado, the issue has become that much more critical to a community’s economic well-being.”
The Denver Post editorial concluded that “Citizens should be able to rely on the judgment of their local elected officials to make the call on whether public money should go into broadband services.” We agree.