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Right to build own broadband vote passed by Colorado towns

Seven towns and counties based in Colorado have been pushing back against the huge providers of broadband services for the right to build their own, localized internet solutions.

Many states in the US have regulations in place – often lobbied for by Comcast and other major internet service providers – which make it difficult for local communities to build their own municipal broadband.

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But the rules of Colorado are unique in that they enable towns to pursue broadband in the event that their residents voice their approval of the idea through an election ballot.

And that is exactly what happened recently when citizens voted overwhelmingly in favor of measures that would allow Yuma, Boulder and other areas to establish their own municipal broadband, should these towns decide to push forward.

If the vote is successful, it will not require or even guarantee that these projects will be launched. Nevertheless, Colorado boasts of "miles" of unused fiber, therefore the resources and technology are at least partly there already.

Furthermore, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has suggested that it supports the local communities as opposed to the powerful providers of broadband services.

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The position of the FCC is informed by their conclusion that throughout the United States, whenever competitive broadband providers enter the market, prices go down, while broadband speeds become faster.

It is therefore easy to understand why the incumbent providers of broadband services would rather legislate than get even more innovative with their services. The good news for these towns of Colorado is that they will not have to turn to the government for assistance.