As Election Day approaches, people in a number of Colorado communities will be addressing special ballot questions on local telecommunications authority. Editors of the local news source, the Journal, encourage voters in Montezuma County and Dolores to opt out of harmful SB 152 and reclaim authority taken away in 2005.
“That Industry Has Had Its Chance”
According to editors at the Journal, SB 152 may have sounded like a good thing to legislators in 2005, but big corporate providers have not lived up to promises to bring high-quality connectivity to rural Colorado:
More than a decade later, that industry has had its chance. Internet providers have cherry-picked the lucrative markets and left small communities and even more sparsely populated rural areas with substandard Internet services that are far from high speed. Now it is time for the public sector to step out from under SB 152 restrictions.
By our last count, 27 towns and counties will offer voters the choice to opt out, but we may discover more as we continue to research before Election Day. The communities who choose to vote on the measure don’t necessarily have solid plans to invest in Internet access infrastructure, but if they want to work with a private sector partner or on their own, they must first hold a referendum.
As Election Day approaches, we anticipate more editorials expressing support; local communities are tired of waiting for better connectivity. As stated by the editors here:
Ballot issues 1A and 2A, respectively, allow local governments to investigate the feasibility of providing broadband services as a public utility or as part of a public-private partnership with taxpayer support for infrastructure.
That is logical, because most of us think of the Internet exactly as an essential utility, right along with electricity, gas and water.
The need is obvious. County voters, vote “yes.” Dolores voters, check the “yes” boxes on both 1A and 2A.