Fort Collins asks community for engagement in city-run broadband project

Samantha Ye

Currently, the City Broadband Plan does not call for any restrictions on internet access based on content or providers. The plan notes that maintaining the principles of net neutrality could be a potential market differentiator for the City.

As part of the Fort Collins Broadband Project, community members can show where they would like to have access to future City fiber networks by dropping a pin on the online city map, according to the City of Fort Collins.

Participants must be registered with the OUR City website, after which point they can interact with the map and ask questions about the project. The pins are solely for community engagement purposes and will not determine priority for for broadband implementation.

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In the most recent Larimer County election, voters approved a ballot measure allowing the City to build out a municipal fiber network. The Fort Collins City Council has since chosen a retail model, where the City will build and operate the infrastructure as an ISP.

On Tuesday, City Council unanimously voted on a second reading to re-appropriate $1.8 million from the general fund to start the new broadband network, and amended City code to include broadband services in the City’s charter.

The City hopes to roll out the fiber network in the most efficient way possible based on installation opportunities and existing fiber locations.

Certain neighborhoods will start getting service in mid-to-late 2019. Full coverage of the City and growth management area will take until about 2022, or about three to five years.  

City Broadband members recommend people take that timing into consideration when signing current or future internet service provider contracts.

Collegian reporter Samantha Ye can be reached at news@collegian.com or on Twitter @samxye4.