Colorado's statewide ban on municipally-owned broadband networks took a blow this week, when seven cities and counties voted to allow them in their regions.
Colorado is one of nearly two dozen US states with laws limiting municipalities from participating in the rapidly developing Gigabit Cities ecosystem, but Colorado's law provides exceptions to allow municipal networks by local election. Until now, the City of Longmont was the only Colorado municipality to take advantage of the clause. (See Colorado Gigabit Network Shuns Video, Embraces OTT.)
But on Election Day this week, the cities of Boulder, Yuma, Wray, Cherry Hills Village and Red Cliff, along with Rio Blanco and Yuma counties, passed measures overriding the state law, according to coverage in the Washington Post.
The Colorado developments are a win for proponents of municipal broadband, and for the overall development of Gigabit Cities, but the local measures in these communities are only the beginning. Now begins the task of evaluating business models for potentially building out fiber-to-the-home networks -- which could hinge on the facilities of municipal utilities, or involve public/private partnerships with commercial providers -- and the probable onslaught of responses from irate competitive providers.
In other words, here comes the fun part.
— Jason Meyers, Senior Editor, Gigabit Cities/IoT, Light Reading