Lagging County Trying To Get A Leg Up With Broadband

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Greeley and Weld County lag behind the rest of the state when it comes to broadband connection rates, with adoption among the lowest in the nation, reported the Greeley Tribune.

With only 78 percent of Greeley residents having access to broadband, based on 2017 U.S. Census data, it puts them on the same playing field as Kentucky, Alabama, New Mexico, West Virginia, Louisiana, Mississippi and Arkansas for lack of broadband adoption.

Now, Greeley interim IT director Brian Sullivan has been tasked by the city to head its municipal broadband project, working with local providers CenturyLink and Comcast/Xfinity, to increase internet speeds and availability. 

The city is also considering adding a private internet service provider or launching a city-owned and operated ISP, reported the Tribune.

An initiative for Sullivan is to ensure all residents can afford broadband service. “One of our biggest concerns is making sure it’s ubiquitous across the city that everybody has the opportunity — no matter where they’re at in the city — to have high-speed broadband,” Sullivan said.

“You look at education currently, those kids do everything online,” Sullivan added. “We need to make sure our kids and the community have the ability to get online to do what they need to do.”

The city and Sullivan are dedicated to finding a solution, currently in a data-gathering mode, to determine the next steps to improve the city’s broadband adoption. “We want to come back to (city) council with: here are the options, here are the costs, this is what we recommend moving forward,” Sullivan said.

May 24, 2019

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