Colorado communities continue to seek to restore local authority for telecommunications. In April's election, elected officials of Montrose will ask voters to approve a measure that gives the municipality the right to establish a telecommunications utility.
Centennial, a Denver suburb, approved a ballot initiative last fall to use city fiber resources as a way to provide indirect telecommunications services. Centennial's community leaders want to create the most business friendly environment as possible to spur economic development.
Montrose is taking a similar approach, although the language on this ballot does not limit the City to "indirect services." Elected officials have not mentioned the desire to provide any specific services yet, but the language of the ballot question suggests they do not want limited possibilities.
The City Council approved the following language for the April 1, 2014 ballot:
"Without increasing taxes, shall the citizens of the City of Montrose Colorado re-establish their City's right to provide all services restricted since 2005 by Title 29, article 27 of the Colorado Revised Statutes, described as "advanced services," "telecommunications services" and "cable television services," including any new and improved high bandwidth services based on future technologies, utilizing community owned infrastructure including but not limited to the existing fiber optic network, either directly or indirectly with public or private sector partners, to potential subscribers that may include telecommunications service providers, residential or commercial users within the City?"
A Montrose Daily Press covered the decision:
“We’ve been working on improving our broadband in the community for quite some time,” Virgil Turner, city director of innovation and citizen engagement, said. “The city has recognized that broadband is an area where we are not on equal footing with the Front Range.”
The city sees the lack of...