January 25, 2019
The City Council received an update on the broadband initiative on January 22. Assistant City Manager Victoria Runkle told the Council it is reasonable to expect that making all the broadband decisions will require multiple years. The first effort is gathering information, analyzing it, working with private companies to determine if they can provide the service. This will require a significant amount of time. Fort Collins went through three years of evaluation of different service models and providers before deciding to ask the voters for approval to implement a new utility. Loveland evaluated options for two years with its City Council.
Greeley plans to establish an advisory citizen committee with a mix of business and resident representatives. The committee will meet once a month for the next year or so. In addition, a consulting firm will conduct statistically valid outreach to the residents and businesses. This information will include both providing information gather information about broadband experience and expectations. In addition, there will be discussions with various broadband providers to access public/private partnership (P3) interest. Runkle said there are many alternatives to providing fast internet service and the City will explore all options for recommendations.
Runkle also told the Council that the Town of Windsor, which worked with Greeley to conduct an initial study, has said that broadband isn’t a 2019 priority issue for the town. town. Nonetheless, she said it is still conceivable that two towns will work together on the issue. Staff plans to return to City Council in July 2019 with an update and action plans for the remainder of 2019 and 2020.