Municipal Broadband: Longmont’s experience

Voters in Boulder are preparing to decide on several ballot measures including 2C, which would allow the city to provide its own broadband service to the public or to partner with private companies to do the same. This follows a similar ballot measures that voters in Longmont overwhelmingly approved in 2011. It was the second time such a measure was on Longmont’s ballot, and in 2011, it set records in terms of spending by industry against the measure. The fact that citizens have to vote on these issues stems back to a piece of state wide legislation that many say was written by the telecommunications industry, that means city’s and municipalities must get voter approval before they can offer broadband service to residents. Tom Roiniotis, General manager of Longmont Power & Communications says construction began on Longmont’s broadband roll-out in August.  The city says they’ll start offering the high-speed internet service to some residents starting next month. Roiniotis says It’s a six phase project that should be complete in 3 years. KGNU’s Gavin Dahl writes about Longmont’s experience with broadband in this week’s Boulder Weekly cover story.