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Loveland, Colo. Won’t Ask Residents About Municipal Broadband

July 13, 2017

Earlier this week, this blog reported that voters in Greeley, Colo. might get to vote this November on whether their city leaders should pursue a government-owned broadband network. While leaders in Greeley seem to want to move forward with that vote, officials in Loveland, Colo. have put the brakes on municipal broadband.

According to the Loveland Reporter-Herald, the Loveland City Council won’t include a municipal broadband question on this November’s ballot. Proposed ballot language would have asked voters “to go beyond” basic support of the concept of a city-run system and would instead “explicitly … direct the city to pursue a municipal broadband internet utility …”

Mayor Pro Tem John Fogle supported putting the question on November’s ballot while Council Member Steve Olson said he believes that councilors do not have enough information to move forward. According to the Reporter-Herald, “Olson said he would support a future election on municipal broadband services only if those who chose not to support it were indemnified against the costs that might be created by the program.” Olson also argued “that it would be arrogant to believe the city, with no experience providing municipal broadband experience, would be more successful than the private companies it would supplant as a utility provider.”

Council Member Dave Clark also said the city needs more time to explore the issue and argued that, “if the issue were that important, it could become the subject of a special election in 2018.”

The Reporter-Herald also said some council members believe “some of the materials they do have are skewed.”