Colorado Invests $113 Million for Statewide Broadband Expansion

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In a significant move to bridge the digital divide, Colorado is investing $113 million from its Capital Projects Fund (CPF) in 27 broadband projects. These initiatives aim to connect nearly 19,000 homes and businesses, underscoring the state’s commitment to improving internet access.

Leading the pack is Clearnetworx, securing the lion’s share of funding with approximately $25.3 million distributed across five grants. The company is slated to embark on projects in Montezuma, Archuleta, La Plata, and San Miguel Counties, a strategic effort to enhance connectivity in diverse regions.

Loveland Pulse, a municipal broadband utility, is set to receive $3.23 million across three grants to expand its fiber network in Larimer County. This follows the recent completion of a groundbreaking $110 million fiber build, marking the largest capital project in the municipality’s history.

Visionary Broadband, rooted in Wyoming, emerged as a notable recipient, obtaining a $5.2 million grant for a project in Chaffee County. Despite its origins as a DSL and fixed wireless access provider, Visionary is gearing up to deploy around 20,000 new fiber locations annually over the next few years.

Other awardees include the Southern Ute Indian Tribe ($8.57 million), Fort Collins Connexion ($10.7 million), Southern Colorado Economic Development District ($12.5 million), and Delta Montrose Electric Association ($5.14 million). Notably, all funded projects will exclusively employ fiber-to-the-premise technology, ensuring high-speed, reliable connections.

While the award list is pending finalization, the Colorado Broadband Office (CBO) will conduct a challenge and appeals process to address concerns about broadband availability and grant denials. Additionally, these projects are part of Colorado’s broader initiative, complemented by an $826 million allocation from the federal government’s $42.5 billion Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) program. State officials are optimistic that BEAD funds will propel the state towards connecting 99% of Colorado homes by 2027, marking a significant stride in enhancing digital inclusion.

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