Fiber-optic rollout on Longmont ballot

LONGMONT – The Longmont City Council voted Tuesday night to place a $45 million bond issue on the November ballot that would speed up the rollout of the city’s fiber optic network to all of its residents and businesses.

The debt financing would be paid with rate and fee revenues from the city’s electric and broadband utility enterprise fund and would not increase taxes or affect other city services.

If the measure passes, the network could be completely built out by approximately the middle of 2017, Deb Cameron, customer services and marketing manager for Longmont Power and Communications, said Wednesday. If the measure fails, the city could still do the buildout but estimates that it could take as many as 40 years because of the limited revenues currently generated by Longmont’s fiber optic loop.

The city built its high-capacity fiber optic loop in 1997 in anticipation of someday providing citywide service. In 2005, the Colorado Legislature passed a bill prohibiting municipalities from providing broadband service without citizen approval. Longmont voters gave that approval in a 2011 election.

The city currently provides broadband services to a few businesses and residents located close to the loop. The bond issue would help distribution go citywide.

The city is proposing to offer 1 gigabit-per-second download and upload speeds to residential customers for $49.95 per month. That download speed is nearly 10 times faster than the highest tier Comcast offers, 105 megabits per second. CenturyLink’s highest tier offers download speeds of 40 megabits per second.

Cameron said additional pricing tiers would still be worked out for the city in addition to the 1-gig speed, and that virus protection is not something that is included in the service at this time.

The vote in 2011 saw stiff opposition from telecommunications companies, but Cameron said she wasn’t sure what sort of opposition to expect this time around.

“We’re just really focusing on seeing how this ballot question turns out and what the voters choose to do on Nov. 5,” Cameron said.

You have 2 free articles remaining this month.
Want to see more? Login or Subscribe.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Social Network

Facebook Icon
Twitter Icon
LinkedIn Icon
©2016 BizWest The contents of this website are copyright BizWest Media, LLC. All rights reserved.
Use of any of this informatino or media on this site is strictly prohibited withotu express written consent.