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Broadband infrastructure bill advances at legislature

Posted: 6:08 PM, Apr 16, 2019
Updated: 2019-04-16 20:42:47-04

COLORADO- A state senator is addressing a hurdle that some broadband companies are facing as they work to expand broadband to underserved areas of the state.

The legislation is complex and it addresses concerns for broadband companies wanting to provide services with infrastructure that’s already set up.

For Jack Johnston, CEO of Secom Inc. broadband is becoming a necessity in the rural areas his company serves.

“Broadband is very exponential and it grows and jumps and leaps rather than kind of curvature,” said Johnston.

The bill would allow utility companies that already own this infrastructure, on private land, to lease it out to broadband services.

The concern comes with easements agreements, with cooperatives in the state voicing concern over the state regulating its businesses and affiliations with businesses.

With the changes, it would expand broadband access to areas of the state that need it the most.

“it reduces the capital investment needed to the areas that already have access to fiber, and allow that capital to be transferred over to the areas that don’t have fiber,” said Johnston.

Additionally, by utilizing existing infrastructure, some areas with limited broadband access would be able to have a backup with broadband expansion.