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New law helps rural counties apply for internet infrastructure funds

Governor Polis signed a bill the Broadband Office of Colorado says will help connect the entire state
Internet Router
Posted at 6:06 PM, May 03, 2023

COLORADO — On Monday, Governor Polis signed SB23-183, or the Broadband Bill, into law. This allows county and municipal
governments to fund internet infrastructure without having to put it on the ballot.

The Colorado Broadband Office thinks this is a step in the
right direction, especially for areas that are much more remote than Colorado Springs or Denver.

"The bulk of the work has to happen in rural areas," said Mark Colwell.

Before the Broadband bill, local counties and municipalities would have to hold a vote on securing funding to improve internet capabilities. Now, without having to spend time and money sending out ballots, areas can re-focus their efforts.

“So we're expecting to make about a Billion dollar investment over the next few years in broadband projects, and some of the programs from the feds specifically asked us to look at funding local communities, and co-ops, and creative models," said Colwell.

Oresta Hannigan, a Denver resident, travels to Falcon every week to help look after her grandson. Whether it's turning on Youtube videos for him or doing her work, she needs to have reliable access to the internet.

"You can't live without it anymore, everything you do on a daily basis requires internet accessibility," she said.
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