Tamara Chuang

Colorado goes analog to boost affordable internet program after just 23% of eligible households join

An effort to boost awareness of the year-old Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) is getting more local after earlier attempts to promote it statewide resulted in just 23% of eligible Colorado households signing up to get up to $30 off their internet bills. To get the rest of the 77% signed up, state officials feel that the campaign needs to go analog and provide help right in local libraries, schools, and community centers.

Colorado is challenging 13,000 speed inaccuracies in the new federal broadband map

A federal effort to map out and better understand who in America has decent internet and who does not is already getting challenged by those in the know, including the Colorado Broadband Office, which has submitted 13,000 challenges of the data. The map is just two weeks old. And the state isn’t done challenging the data collected by the Federal Communications Commission, said Brandy Reitter, executive director of the state’s broadband office. “Thirteen thousand is a lot but likely doesn’t include all missing locations,” Reitter said.

How Colorado plans to cover 99% of the state with super-fast internet

An ambitious new plan by the state of Colorado seeks to end the state’s digital divide once and for all — and to do so using fiber, the gold standard for the fastest internet connections. Brandy Reitter, the executive director of the Colorado Broadband Office, said she took the position because she wanted to do impactful work “that was well funded” so she could actually fix the problem. Now she’s leading the state’s plan to use $1 billion in federal money to improve internet service, not just to help those with no internet access, but those with subpar service.

Hundreds of thousands of Coloradans qualify for a $50 broadband internet credit. So why aren’t they seizing it?

A $50 credit on monthly internet service could mean the difference between having broadband and not having internet at all. But from the looks of federal data, there hasn’t been much interest in claiming the money made available by the Emergency Broadband Benefit (EBB) Program. The program launched in May 2021 and provides low-income consumers up to $50 off their monthly broadband bill (or $75 for those living on Tribal lands). But five months after it launched, EBB serves just over 63,000 households in Colorado, a fraction of those who qualify.

Tribal communities in Colorado may gain better broadband access with new bill

Colorado's official broadband map does not paint an accurate picture of internet access for Tribal communities according to leaders.

Colorado AG leads push to use federal internet discounts to help students get online at home — not just at school

Nearly five years after the Boulder Valley (CO) School District asked the Federal Communications Commission to let it use federal funds to help students on the wrong side of the digital divide, the district finally got a response — in a roundabout way. The Boulder Valley district wanted to fix the “homework gap” faced by students who spend the day at school and then head home to no broadband service. In 2013, the district began sharing its internet with a local neighborhood that had none.

Spurred by the threat of wildfires, an Estes Park broadband project moved at the speed of light

As the Cameron Peak fire burned in the distance on the morning of Oct. 17, Josh Cramer sprung into action. He worried the fire might reach Estes Park (CO) and cause a literal meltdown that could wipe out the town’s internet, emergency lines and prevent reverse 9-1-1 calls.  The town needed access to backup broadband. But where? And how?  Cramer, network architect at Trailblazer Broadband, began making calls and learned the Platte River Power Authority was worried about the same thing.

Colorado will miss its goal to hit 92% broadband coverage in rural areas by June 2020

The state’s goal to get 92% of rural Colorado connected to decent broadband by June will miss the mark. No single factor was to blame — and it had nothing to do with the coronavirus pandemic. But an overall reason is that determining the figure is a crapshoot. “There’s no place for us to go to get more accurate information,” said Anthony Neal-Graves, executive director of the Colorado Office of Broadband, which is focused on getting rural Colorado coverage to 100%.

Little-known internet network plans Western Colorado expansion to link students, nonprofits to supercomputers

GigaPop, long exclusive to universities and federal research labs, offers unthinkably fast speeds and access to the brightest minds — and their data. And now, this decades-old network wants to expand to connect as many western Colorado educational institutions, K-12 classrooms, nonprofits, health care services, and community organizations it can, from Denver to Durango and Grand Junction. The idea that an exclusive research network could spread to the Western Slope and connect students, telemedicine patients and telecommuters is being pitched as BiSON West.

Internet service in western Colorado was so terrible that towns and counties built their own telecom

Internet outages became a distant memory in April as a good chunk of western Colorado turned on a new broadband system. But this wasn’t built by a typical telecommunications company. It took a band of local governments and partners from 14 rural communities to stitch together the 481-mile network, dubbed “Project Thor.” Communities from Aspen to Meeker craved better access and affordability but also demanded reliability.