WHEREAS rural regions in Western Colorado continue to lag far behind the urban Front Range and much of the country when it comes to the availability, reliability, affordability, and quality of modern telecommunications and digital technology services available in their communities, and;
WHEREAS the landscape of telephone, cell phone, and broadband & internet services has changed dramatically over the past 15 years, merging telecommunications with broadband and other wireless technologies, with ever-increasing demands for broadband ‘width and speed and reliability’ as more and more business transactions, educational programs, provision of health care, communications, social engagement, and entertainment occurs over the internet, and;
WHEREAS marketplace dynamics; the lack of residential and commercial density, distance between communities and difficult physical terrain have led to insufficient Return on Investment for the private sector to invest in the physical infrastructure needed to advance rural Colorado’s economic development, offer equal educational opportunities for our young people, and ensure public safety, and;
WHEREAS this inequity and problem has gone on for far too long, leaving many West Slope Coloradoans to feel they are living along the digital ‘Dirt Road’ as others in the state profit from business, educational, healthcare, and societal benefits of having a digital ‘Superhighway’.
NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that CLUB 20 insists that when federal agencies and legislative bodies, the Colorado General Assembly, and the Colorado Public Utilities Commission make policy changes, they will:
- Bring investment, new infrastructure and facilitate the use of existing infrastructure needed for timely, state-of-the-art technology deployment (capable of delivering at least 1 gigabit (1,000 Megabits per second)) symmetrical speeds in rural Colorado for communications, high speed broadband and internet services to advance the economic development, educational opportunities, healthcare, communication and public safety needs of rural Colorado, and;
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that Club 20 supports bringing rural areas to an equal footing with urban centers in terms of communication, broadband, and internet services available, and;
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that Club 20 encourages both free market competition in the telecommunications industry, as well as supporting and respecting local municipal and county authority and efforts to improve broadband services within their communities.