Muni Broadband Makes Longmont Among Nation’s Best Work-From-Home Cities

Last month, PCMag released its ranking of the best work-from-home (WFH) cities in the United States. On this year’s list, two of the cities in the Top 20 are Chattanooga, Tennessee and Longmont, Colorado – both of whom have municipal broadband networks that make those communities among the friendliest remote work locales in the nation.

As a remote-first media outlet itself, PCMag explains what should be obvious to anyone who hasn’t swallowed whole the propaganda of the Big Telecom lobby, which among other falsehoods claims that municipal broadband is simply too complicated for municipalities to build and operate, and is ultimately a financial boondoggle for taxpayers.

“The number-one requirement for a good work-from-home location is fast, reliable Internet access,” PCMag explains.

NextLight Catapults Longmont as Top WFH City

Launched in 2010, Chattanooga’s EPB Fiber network is a well-known and documented municipal broadband success story with independent analysis having shown that in its first 10 years of operation it has brought the city a $2.7 billion return-on-investment.

However, Longmont’s rising star on the municipal broadband stage (coming in at No. 17 on PCMag’s Best WFH list) is because, as aptly described by PCMag, the city is a “more affordable alternative to expensive Boulder, with 300 days of sunshine each year, a municipal fiber provider, and an easy drive to both Boulder and Denver.” 

While Longmont’s “outdoorsy people and an easier lifestyle” is certainly appealing – in the words of YouTuber and BestPhonePlans.net owner Stetson Doggett – the main reason this city of approximately 95,000 is a leading WFH locale is because of its municipal broadband network NextLight, which PCMag ranked as the third fastest network in the nation on the magazine’s 2021 list of “Fastest ISPs in America.”

Although NextLight competes with Comcast and Lumen, 57 percent of the city’s households subscribe to NextLight (maybe it has something to do with Comcast perpetuating falsehoods in the city). And while the speed and reliability of the city-owned fiber network stands head and shoulders above its competition, what’s almost as attractive as the eye-popping views of the nearby Rocky Mountains are NextLight’s prices.

There are no data caps, lock-in contracts or hidden fees. And residential subscribers can get 100 Megabits-per-second symmetrical service for $40/month, symmetrical gig service for $70/month, or gig connectivity plus VoIP phone service for $95/month. And for households who qualify for the Affordable Connectivity Program, they can get a 100 Mbps service for free or gig service for just $20/month.

 

A Source of City Pride

Upon news of her city’s WFH ranking, Longmont Mayor Joan Peck told 50 Plus Marketplace News she was extremely proud of the city’s broadband network:

Even though the coronavirus shut down our everyday routines, City of Longmont staff transitioned many city services online to keep serving our community. From recreation fitness classes to permit applications and City Council meetings, we used technology to bring the City and its essential services into the homes and businesses of our community.

NextLight’s Executive Director Valerie Dodd added:

With more people than ever working remotely, reliable and affordable high-speed Internet is crucial to daily life. We’re proud to support Longmont’s residents and businesses with the quality service they need and are excited to see how they use NextLight’s fiber internet every day to work, learn and relax.

Listen to Christopher discuss the secret sauce of Longmont’s success with NextLight’s Dennis Pappas on the Connect This! Show here.

Inline image of Longmont intersection courtesy of Wikimedia Commons, Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

Inline image of sunrise in Longmont from Union Reservoir courtesy of Flikr user James Bo Insogna, Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)