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The Internet has become a central part of our lives, but most Boulder residents and businesses do not have access to the high speeds and full potential of broadband fiber. While some local entities, usually larger companies, have been able to construct work-arounds, the cost and level of service of these is a significant barrier for the rest of the community. The lack of competition and performance impacts home, nonprofit and business users, as well as research and educational institutions. It also contributes to the existing Digital Divide in Boulder and undermines the community’s tech-savvy reputation, as well as its ability to retain and attract next-generation businesses.
At the end of 2014, the City of Boulder launched an initiative called Connect Boulder, which has two components:
Public Wi-Fi Expansion
The city is working to expand free, public Wi-Fi across Boulder so that individuals can access the Internet from a variety of devices without having to utilize data plans. Three popular public areas now offer this free service.
Broadband Internet Enhancement
The city is exploring a variety of options that could give Boulder businesses and homes the ability to have faster, cheaper broadband. The city is currently in a research and analysis phase with likely implementation decisions expected in mid- to late-2018.
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