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Estes Park, Colorado, to Ask Voters to Reclaim Authority in February
The recent Colorado elections in Boulder, San Miguel County, Yuma County, Rio Blanco County, Wray, Yuma, Red Cliff, and Cherry Hills Village have inspired Estes Park. According to a recent Trail Gazette article, the northern town will hold a special election in February to ask voters to reclaim telecommunications authority. Approximately 5,800 people live in Estes Park.
The local Estes Park Economic Development Corporation (EDC) adopted a resolution in August urging the town council to take the issue to the voters reports the Trail Gazette. The council voted unanimously to support that idea.
"This resolution resulted from an extensive investigation into how to achieve a key goal in the Town's 2014 strategic plan: 'to encourage optimal use of the Platte River Power Authority's and Town's fiber optic infrastructure,' " [EDC's David] Batey said.
"We must take back the Town's right to decide the best way to provide competitive broadband," Batey said.
"Like electricity a century ago, broadband is a foundation for economic growth, job creation, global competitiveness and a better way of life," stated the EDC.
The town and the Platte River Power Authority (PRPA) share ownership of a fiber optic network between Estes Park and nearby Loveland. The ring was installed about 10 years ago for operation of the PRPA Transmission and Substation Electric System. Flooding in 2013 eliminated the other telecommunications infrastructure connecting Estes Park to the outside world, so there is no redundancy.
The City leases several of its fibers to Level 3 for a little over $1,600 per month but connectivity in town varies. Some areas rely on dial-up while others have DSL. There are also several smaller Wi-Fi providers working in the area.