What is considered the minimum speed for broadband?
Currently, the FCC classifies broadband as a minimum of 25 Mbps download and 3 Mbps upload.
Is broadband regulated?
Not very much. For the most part, Broadband is an unregulated market and unlike traditional voice service, companies are under no obligation to provide service to anyone. The state Public Utilities Commission (PUC) does not regulate broadband service and until recently, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) did not regulate broadband at all. In a 2015 ruling (https://apps.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DOC-332260A1.pdf) the FCC classified broadband as a Title II utility but only chose to implement the regulations associated with maintaining ‘Net Neutrality’. The order has since been challenged in Federal Court.
Does the state provide broadband grants?
Indirectly. in 2014, the Colorado Legislature passed HB14-1328 which was subsequently signed by Governor Hickenlooper that established the ‘Broadband Fund’ as well as an independent board to manage the fund. The purpose of the fund is to “promote the state policy of providing universal access to broadband service” and is funded through an existing mechanism called the High Cost Support Mechanism (HCSM) managed by the PUC. The board was established in October of 2014. Information about the Broadband Deployment Board and the Broadband Fund can be found at www.dora.colorado.gov/broadband-fund.
Additionally, the Department of Local Affairs (DOLA) set aside $20 million from its Energy and Mineral Impact Assistance Fund for the purpose of assisting rural communities expand middle-mile broadband in communities impacted from the extraction of natural resources. Complete details on the program can be found at dola.colorado.gov/broadband.
Are DSL and Cable my only options for broadband?
Not necessarily. Fixed point wireless, a type of wireless services that transmits wireless signals from a cellular tower to a fixed receiver on your house is an option in many areas. For a complete list of providers in your area visit our broadband map.
How do I get involved in the broadband effort in my community?
If you are interested in finding out more about broadband related efforts in your community we would encourage you to contact those leading the regional planning process in your area. A directory can be found here.