November 5th probably seems like deja vu for the people of Longmont, Colorado. For the third time, the voters will respond to a ballot question that will impact their community's connectivity. Past referendums addressed whether or not the community could use its fiber ring for connecting businesses and residents.
They now have that authority. This year the question will be "when?"
Local incumbent providers grossly outspent municipal network supporters in 2009 and in 2011 with astroturf campaigns against referendums. Nevertheless, voters decided in 2011 to grant the local utility permission to use existing fiber resources to bring connectivity to businesses and residents.
Since then, Longmont Power and Communications (LPC) began a slow build-out of fiber to businesses and homes within 500 feet of the existing loop. Local businesses, frustrated with poor service from Comcast and CenturyLink, jumped at the opportunity to have real high-speed connections. With a long list of businesses in queue for their connections, the City Council voted to use LPC reserve funds to connect businesses and residents to the loop. Clearly, the people of Longmont were ready for something better than the existing incumbent services.
Local blogger Steve Elliott connected to the service in September. To satisfy his curiosity, he ran speed tests immediately before and after he transitioned from Comcast service.
Comcast timed in at 26.08 Mbps download and 5.76 Mbps upload. LPC provided 89.99 Mbps download and 62.01 Mbps upload.
I also timed downloading movies on Netflix on my TV. Before, I could run...