Voters allow Aurora to explore broadband services

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AURORA | Voters in Aurora will allow the city to opt out of a state law prohibiting local governments from fully or partially providing broadband services. 

Ballot question 3k passed overwhelmingly in Arapahoe, Douglas and Adams counties. In Arapahoe County, 75 percent of voters approved the measure. In Adams County, 76 percent approved it, and in Douglas County 68 percent approved the measure.

Opting out would allow the city to “leverage financial resources, as well as community-owned infrastructure, to improve broadband access to its citizens,” according to city documents prepared by the Kissinger & Fellman law firm earlier this year.

They make the case for opting out as mostly financial. As it stands now, only private companies can provide broadband services. Opting out of the law could mean public-private partnerships, not just a completely-city-owned broadband service.

“Over the past few years, there has been an increasing number of companies that are looking to partner with local governments to build and operate broadband networks that will compete with the incumbent provider and/or provide new or better service in previously hard to reach areas,” the memo said.