To the editor:
On behalf of my organization’s Colorado members, I applaud Rep. Randy Baumgardner for co-sponsoring House Bill 1289, a piece of legislation meant to create jobs by encouraging investment in broadband and telecom services. Although HB 1289 wasn’t adopted into law, it had bipartisan support from representatives who know that investment creates jobs and speeds up economic recovery.
HB 1289 would have modernized a long-standing incentive for manufacturing investment, to encourage investments in the network that delivers high-speed Internet and telecom services to Coloradans.
Modernization would have many economic and social benefits. Consider:
• Jobs — The U.S. Chamber of Commerce reports each new dollar of telecom capital spending leads to $2.86 in new output, and a $1 million rise in telecom capital spending creates 18 new jobs.
• Education — The Internet is revolutionizing education, so the network needs ongoing investment.
• Health Care — With a reliable high-speed network, telehealth programs eliminate geographic barriers to healthcare while saving money.
• Environment — “Smart grid” energy management systems use the Internet to save energy, cut emissions and conserve natural resources.
Broadband and telecom are critical to Colorado consumers and businesses.
Supporters of HB 1289 worked in bipartisan fashion with the goal of ensuring that Colorado is attractive for investment in the new economy.
We commend their vision, and we encourage Colorado public policy makers at all levels to work together to identify ways they can help encourage more telecom investment in the state.
Executive director, Coalition for a Connected West