Denver Issue 2H: Municipal broadband

This measure would opt Denver out of a 2005 state law restricting governments from using tax dollars to build broadband networks. The move would allow the city to enter into the high-speed internet business, should city officials want to go in that direction.

The case for: This could provide Denver with better leverage in negotiating with existing high-speed internet providers to expand coverage areas and potentially lower prices or at least keep them stable. Should city officials launch a municipal internet company, it would allow the city to set its own prices and expand coverage independently.

The case against: If city officials decided to launch a municipal internet company, it could cost up to $1 billion and take years to complete.

Ballot question: “Shall the City and County of Denver, without increasing taxes by this measure, reestablish the city’s right to provide all services restricted since 2005 by the Colorado General Assembly with their passage of Senate Bill 05-152, including the authority but not obligation to provide high-speed Internet (advanced services), telecommunication services, and cable television services, including any new and improved high bandwidth services based on future technologies, to residents, businesses, schools, libraries, non-profit entities and other users of such services either directly or indirectly with public or private sector partners, as expressly permitted by Article 27, Title 29 of the Colorado Revised Statutes?”

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