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If you could purchase Internet service that was 700 times faster at a lower price, you would undoubtedly buy it, especially if you are a business owner.

For private individuals, the increased speed would accommodate today’s vast variety of entertainment options.

For communities, the growing demand for bandwidth and speed is a key driver in economic development. Access to fast, affordable and reliable Internet service is required for productivity and job growth.

Thankfully, Colorado communities are rethinking broadband.

Senate Bill 152, which became law in 2005, prohibits local governments from providing broadband service without a local vote.

The legislation, approved in 2005 at the desire of cable companies and others, made it difficult for communities to grow or build their own broadband systems.

“It’s an obnoxious law that was passed by the industry to protect their monopoly,” said Geoff Wilson, general counsel for the Colorado Municipal League.

There have been many changes since the antiquated bill was passed in 2005. The outdated legislation limits competition, growth and innovation, serving the needs of only the large broadband providers and hindering local and regional providers.

There is no denying the local economic impact. Today, more than ever, our local businesses rely on the Internet. Just a short outage can be a huge inconvenience and cost hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars in lost revenues. Businesses large and small depend on the service for running credit card transactions; hospitals and emergency managers demand high-speed Internet for sharing data and information.

On a deadline day, loss of Internet service can literally halt the presses for this newspaper.

The full version of this story is available in the print edition and e-edition of the Pagosa Springs SUN. Subscribe today by calling (970)264-2100 or click here.