Club 20 Building Toward Broadband for Colorado Conference

Club 20 is an organization of counties, communities, tribes, businesses, individuals and associations in Western Colorado. The group is organized for the purpose of speaking with a single unified voice on issues of mutual concern. Its activities include marketing and advertising, public education, promotion, meetings and events, and political action.

ON November 15, 2012 Club 20 held a “Building toward Broadband for Colorado Conference” in Grand Junction, Colorado.

The Region 9 Economic Development District sponsored OHIvey’s attendance at the conference.

I applaud Club 20′s effort. They sponsored a conversation that certainly needs to be had in Western Colorado and many other parts of the nation.

I was a little frustrated by the strong service provider bias of the selected presenters (no one representing a municipal project was invited to speak). I was also a little frustrated by the unapologetic stance the service providers took. The room was obviously in attendance because they are unhappy with the status quo. The service provider stance was largely that the status quo is working for rural Colorado.

The status quo is not only not working for rural Colorado, it is not working for the United States. We are falling behind other developed nations in broadband speeds, services, and adoption. In this era of information workers we can ill-afford anything less than the absolute best broadband networks and services. Our slacking position is not entirely the incumbents fault. We have some regulatory issues, some geography issues, and any number of hurrdles to overcome.

However, while it is not entirely the incumbents fault that our broadband is lagging, they have not found a set of solutions to solve the problem. If the incumbents can’t (or won’t) solve America’s broadband problem then municipalities around the country should step up and take their broadband future in their own hands.