The term broadband, as defined by the Federal Communications Commission, refers to high-speed Internet access that is always on and faster than traditional dial-up access. 

Colorado Senate Bill 05-152 (SB 152) was a measure passed by the Colorado Legislature in 2005. SB 152 prohibits the use of municipal or county money for infrastructure to improve broadband service. Local governments are required to secure voter approval before entering into broadband partnerships or business. Without approval, the law limits the ability of Colorado local governments to provide a broad spectrum of services, including: 

  • free Internet service in community parks and centers; 
  • leveraging government infrastructure and partnering with private businesses to provide affordable and high-speed Internet service throughout the entire community; 
  • direct provision of broadband services by municipal governments where needed. 
The Windsor Town Board identified broadband as a priority for further study in their 2016-18 Strategic Plan

What does an SB 152 election accomplish?

SB 152 requires that an election occur before a local government may "engage in or offer to provide" the public with telecommunication services. The term "providing" is given a broad definition restricting both the direct and indirect service provisions. 

If voters approve this ballot item, Windsor would be exempt from a state law that otherwise limits local governments from improving broadband capabilities. With this exemption, the town would be allowed to establish business partnerships with private companies to improve access to high-speed broadband internet, opt to provide this service itself, or develop a combined strategy to benefit residents and business users. 

This ballot item would not prohibit any private business, including existing broadband providers, from initiating or continuing to provide these services. Passage of this measure would allow the exploration of various opportunities to make assets available to serve the community's broadband needs.