Digital Communities

Colorado Town Votes to Open Path to Local Broadband

Erie, Colo., has opted out of an old senate bill, and joins several other communities that have voted in recent years to open up a path to alternative broadband solutions to their communities' connectivity issues.

by Anthony Hahn, Daily Camera / November 7, 2018

(TNS) — The majority of Erie, Colo., voters on Tuesday said yes to Ballot Issue 3D, according to unofficial election returns, freeing the town from a 2005 statute that now allows it to explore a variety of options for alternative broadband Internet services.

With that approval — 86 percent — Erie joins a host of Colorado communities to date that have opted out of Senate Bill 152 via voter-sanctioned ballot measures, including several of its Boulder County neighbors.

Lafayette and Superior voters said yes to the measure in 2016, and Louisville joined them last November.

Town leaders have said they have no immediate plans to usher in a town-provided Internet service, though a system of sophisticated fiber-optic cables could take shape in a variety of ways throughout Erie, according to a report compiled last year by South Dakota-based consulting firm, Vantage Point Solutions.

The report suggests that the town could benefit from building a "middle-mile network:" a system that serves community anchors such as schools and libraries and government buildings, rather than directly to homes and businesses.

©2018 the Daily Camera (Boulder, Colo.) Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.