CMEDP Column: Vote ‘yes’ on 1A and 2A for economic growth
September 6, 2015
Like electricity a century ago, broadband is a foundation for economic growth, job creation, global competitiveness and improved quality of life. It is changing how we educate children, deliver health care, manage our electric utilities, ensure public safety and engage the government to provide services.
And currently, it's a missing link from Moffat County's economic landscape, which local groups are seeking to change.
Ballot Measure 1A and 2A in the Nov. 3 election asks whether the city and county may re-establish the legal ability to provide cable television services, telecommunication services and/or advanced services, either directly or indirectly with public or private sector providers.
Your YES vote will allow for our community, local government and private providers to develop options for improved broadband services for business, government agencies and citizens.
Our community has been seeking partners to establish high-speed telecommunications since 1997 when the decision to construct the new Moffat County Public Safety Center passed.
Colorado Senate Bill 05-152 (SB-152), passed in 2005, takes away the ability of local government to engage in the provision of telecommunication services directly or indirectly by allowing use of fiber optic cable by other providers including partnerships with private entities. Over a dozen communities have already passed the SB05-152 override and that many more are on the Nov. 3 ballot across the state.
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Broadband allows users to access internet related services at significantly higher speeds than what was historically available through telephone line and modem "dial-up" Internet access speeds. Competitive broadband would mean internet service with speed, quality, cost equivalent to what is available in Denver and other cities. Moffat County must have affordable and redundant pathways to the outside world.
Former Craig Mayor Terry Carwile and I are working with our local Broadband Committee to educate people about a YES vote on the SB-152 override. Competitive broadband services available to all provide a strong business environment. That is good business to have quality broadband services at a reasonable price with options for different pathways when the internet lines are cut during construction.
Craig/Moffat Economic Development Partnership — along with many community partners — has identified the need for broadband services through conversations with private businesses and public organizations. We have quickly learned that The Memorial Hospital must make drastic changes when the internet is "down" as it was earlier this summer and services were limited.
Moffat County School District is including more electronic devices for advanced student learning and mandatory electronic testing for all students. Downtown business owners note it is difficult to run credit card payments without the internet.
Craig/Moffat Economic Development Partnership believes that our community should be the next to override SB-152. We want business small and large to be able to stay in Moffat County. A YES vote for this ballot measure 1A and 2A is a vote for our community's economic future.
Join me and CMEDP with a vote YES on 1A and 2A.
Join in the effort and call Craig Moffat Economic Development at 970-620-4370 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Audrey Danner is the executive director of the Craig/Moffat County Economic Development Partnership.