Local Solutions Keep Rural America Connected

Laws in Colorado and 19 other states prevent municipalities from providing broadband internet service. In Colorado and a few other states, local citizens must pass a referendum to allow their municipality to offer internet service. On November 4th, voters in seven Colorado counties passed such referenda, providing greater access to what has become an essential service - broadband internet.
In many states, however, these laws totally restrict the ability of local governments to provide broadband internet access. There’s really no argument that internet access is an important part of modern life. It’s an invaluable tool for small business, health care providers, and educational institutions. The internet has become a part of day-to-day life that can easily be taken for granted, until it’s no longer available. For many people considering moving to rural areas, having good internet access can be just as important as having reliable electricity or water.
In states where there is no limit on who can provide internet service, local governments can step up and fill the void by providing service to underserved areas, often times providing faster and cheaper service than some private companies.
Rural and small town America has a proud tradition of finding innovative solutions to challenges like lack of internet access. But state laws that restrict municipalities from offering internet access remove one of the best local solutions available. People in rural areas deserve to have high quality and affordable internet service for their homes, small businesses, and other community services.

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