Colorado Wireless Communities face delay

The Colorado Wireless Communities (CWC), a group of 10 cities in Colorado (Boulder, Arvada, Broomfield, Lakewood, Northglenn, Thornton, Golden, Louisville, Superior and Wheat Ridge), are wondering whether they should continue trying to work with C-Com, a Boulder-based service provider, whom they picked to deploy the wireless broadband network across the ten cities. Pursuant to the arrangement with C-Com, CWC will work with them exclusively but only if C-Com manages to find funding for the network (the cost is between $15 – $20 million). C-Com has not been able to raise enough money to fund the deployment of the network, which isn’t surprising given the difficulty of recouping investments in networks that: (a) do not follow the anchor tenancy model or (b) have a large number of users.

The problem with the CWC model is that it’s based on the “city pays nothing” model, the same one followed by San Francisco and Portland. As we have seen, service providers (and those investing in this sector) have been shying away from projects where the city pays nothing for the network.