Grand Junction is the latest Colorado community to vote to restore local telecommunications authority.
Much like the eight communities that decided last fall to reclaim that right, and Estes Park in February, Grand Junction voters spoke loudly through the ballot. Seventy-five percent of those casting ballots chose to restore authority.
Grand Junction community leaders have expressed a desire to work with providers to improve poor connectivity but have feared repercussions from state laws put in place a decade ago. They now plan to explore partnerships as well as municipal initiatives reports KKCO 11 News.
“It’s an indication that people really want to see us have better fiber in this city so we'll step back as a city council and see what are next steps to go forward,” says Mayor Phyllis Norris.
The approval of Measure 2A reverses the effects of Senate Bill 152 that have been in effect for more than 10 years.
City and county leaders now have the power to negotiate with internet companies and explore options of how to share their broadband with citizens.
Rather than wait for the domino effect to make its way across the state, requiring millions to be spent on local elections, Colorado should simply repeal SB 152 and restore local authority to every community. Right now, the only beneficiaries of this barrier to local choice are the incumbent providers, who at the very least are able to delay needed investments in Internet infrastructure.