CTA in the News

Private providers can do a better job with high-speed broadband | Guest Commentary by Pete Kirchhof published on DenverPost.com

The Obama administration's advocacy of expanded access to affordable, high-speed broadband deserves praise. The initiative, reiterated recently in the president's State of the Union address, has drawn renewed attention to a top priority of the Information Age: linking even the most geographically remote and economically challenged communities to the Internet so that all may benefit.

Where the administration is missing the mark, however, is in promoting government-owned broadband networks as a means of achieving that end. Instead of enticing state and local governments — and ultimately taxpayers — into making extensive investments in fiscally shaky, publicly owned broadband systems that have little or no experience in the marketplace, the president should encourage communities to explore the groundbreaking work already being done by private providers.

Colorado does have a unique system among states where municipal governments may enter the broadband market — but only after approval from local voters. This represents an important check-and-balance by letting taxpayers decide if they want their local government involved in the telecommunications business.

Rural access has been expanding steadily, especially here in Colorado, courtesy of the innovation and proven know-how of seasoned private-sector companies. Our state's mom-and-pop telecommunications firms, many of them generations old, have been among the leaders statewide in bridging the digital divide, bringing high-speed Internet to a host of rural farm and ranch communities in the mountains and on the plains.

Read more: Private providers can do a better job with high-speed broadband

Open Wire to Fiber: Broadband on the High Plains in the April 2014 edition of OSP magazine.

Old Rules Don’t Support New Realities in November 2013 edition of Rural Telecom.

Rural Telecom | November 2013

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