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Thursday, October 17,2013

Election Guide 2013: Yes on Longmont Ballot Question 2B

By Boulder Weekly Staff

Longmont Ballot Question 2B
Bonds for city’s fiber-optic network

Vote Yes

This one has been in the works for a long time, and it’s finally time to take the last step toward completing a city-owned, high-speed, fiber-optic network that is expected to provide residents with Internet service that is not only cheaper than what the private sector can offer, but at much faster speeds, 1 gigabit per second. As with 2A, this one does not involve a tax increase, it would be funded through user fees alone. Recall that Longmont has had to fight hard for the right to use its own fiber-optic network, which it installed in 1997. Thanks to an asinine 2005 law restricting cities’ ability to provide telecommunications services, Longmont had to ask voters to reinstate that right in a 2009 ballot question, but that initiative was defeated thanks to a negative, misleading campaign bankrolled by the telecomm industry. You may remember the images of sad firefighters in the ads paid for by No Blank Check, falsely claiming that the measure would take tax money away from emergency responders. In 2011, the city floated a similar ballot question, and that initiative passed despite another round of well-funded opposition from the telecomm industry. Let’s seal this deal once and for all, in the name of local control and resistance to outside corporate interests trying to buy our elections. We’ll vote yes on 2B.

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