The basics on where Fort Collins stands on providing broadband services
Two heady issues — a controversial water storage project and allowing the city to get into the broadband business — are scheduled to play out in front of the Fort Collins City Council on Tuesday.
Council members are expected to decide whether to seek voter permission to create a municipal utility that would provide telecommunication facilities through a high-speed broadband internet network.
The measure, if approved by voters in the Nov. 7 election, would change the City Charter to allow but not require the establishment of broadband services through the Light and Power Utility.
The proposal would allow the utility to issue up to $150 million in bonds to build and operate a fiber-optic based network. The cost of the system would be borne by subscribers to the service.
The goal is to make high-speed internet service available throughout the city and its Growth Management Area. City officials hope to provide speeds up to 1 gigabit per second for downloads and uploads at competitive prices.
The business model for the service has not yet been determined. It could be a “retail” model through which the city would build, operate and maintain a broadband network, or it could be done through agreements with one or more existing internet service providers.
Supporters say municipal utility is needed to meet the public’s expectations for internet service and to help small businesses stay competitive…
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