Longmont, Colorado muni wireless network goes live

The municipal wireless broadband network in Longmont, Colorado has finally gone live. DHB Networks, a service provider, took over the network from Kite which the city had contracted in 2006 to build the network. Kite went out of business after spending almost $2 million. DHB says that it has 1000 subscribers in Longmont and that its goal is to increase that number to 2500 by the end of 2009.

Colorado law prevents munis from upgrading infrastructure

Although the city owns the fiber that functions as the backhaul for the muni wireless network, the city is prohibited by Colorado law from owning and operating the wireless network. DHB has to buy capacity from Longmont Power & Communications and lease space on light poles (so the city gets some revenue from DHB but is itself prohibited from controlling the network). Longmont is restricted from doing what Ponca City, Oklahoma and Rock Hill, South Carolina have done: use the city-owned fiber network plus muni wireless to install automated meter reading, energy management and public safety applications that not only save money for residents and the utility but also improve the quality of life.

There are other states with similar laws on the books and it’s time for those states to revisit them and ask whether these laws exist solely to protect the interests of incumbent wired and wireless telecom operators to the detriment of cities that wish to upgrade their broadband, municipal and utility infrastructure.

Previous post on Longmont, Colorado:

DHB Networks takes over Longmont, Colorado muni wireless network

Comments

  1. This article is inaccurate. Colorado law does not prohibit municipalities from building their own private networks for internal applications, it only prevents them from offering Internet services to the public without first going to vote.
    Todd

  2. Whats the name of the new WIFI in Longmont Co?

  3. How do you subscribe for this service. There no advertising about it in local papers or flyers.

  4. Do a Google search for DHB Networks, find the contact page and call them.