Building Regional Partnerships to Connect Communities
August 8 – 3:00 pm to 3:45 pm
Larimer County (County) encompasses diverse communities across the front range – from rural mountain towns to dense cities nestled along the foothills. Growth in the region has emphasized the need to improve our infrastructure and ensure these communities can thrive socially and economically. Therefore, access to affordable high-speed broadband was identified as a key goal in the County’s Strategic Plan. Building regional and community relationships to extend community-owned municipal fiber assets in well-connected areas of the region into largely rural areas is crucial for success.
In northern Colorado, a regional partnership was developed between the County; City of Fort Collins and City of Loveland municipal broadband providers, Pulse and Connexion; local rural electric providers; and contractors. This type of relationship, level of community-owned assets, and level of regional collaboration, is unique and centered around the belief that broadband is a utility that should be accessible to all.
Leveraging each other’s resources has made it possible to connect unserved and underserved communities in the County with municipal broadband through open-access and shared infrastructure. This partnership ultimately provides a long-term sustainable network that prioritizes community and shares key resources to better compete for upcoming funding programs and ensure effective use of those funds. This panel would discuss the lessons learned, key strategies, and nature of the partnership that continues to grow in Northern Colorado.