Staff hoped the City Council would choose a business model for the City’s broadband initiative Tuesday night, but the Council clearly wasn’t comfortable making that decision yet. The City’s Broadband Task Force recommended City Council direct staff to move forward developing a municipal retail – residential and business model like Longmont’s, while continuing to consider possible public partnership opportunities throughout the process. The Taskforce (and City staff) felt this was the best way to meet the City Council’s objectives, which include inclusivity, high speed, reliability, affordability and customer service excellence. However, the cost and responsibility associated with this approach had the Council understandably nervous.
City Manager Steve Adams said staff will bring back more information to councilors about success stories as well as failures of city-led broadband efforts as well as additional information requested by Council at the meeting.
LBAR supported the ballot measure giving the City the ability to pursue alternative broadband options, arguing better/faster service would benefit residents and encourage economic development. Both CenturyLink and Comcast, concerned about competition, have said they are increasing download speeds and working on service enhancements but admitted these improvements will not be available for the entire city.