DENVER—Today, the House of Representatives passed significant legislation that will increase competition between broadband companies seeking to reach rural parts of Colorado. Current law awards larger incumbent telecommunications providers, like Century Link, the first right of refusal when a smaller provider expresses an interest in an unserved location of the state – though the incumbent provider is not required to match the broadband speed if it elects to exercise that right.
House Bill 18-1099, sponsored by Representative Marc Catlin (R-Montrose), requires the incumbent provider to match the downstream and upstream speeds, and match the cost per area household to the other provider’s bid.
“Broadband is a lifeline to the struggling rural communities trying to keep pace with the urban regions of Colorado, and today we passed a bill that will significantly help increase broadband reach in our state,” said Catlin. “This bill increases competition in rural areas and levels the playing the field for smaller telecommunication companies lining up to get broadband into rural Colorado.”
House Bill 18-1099 passed 61-2, and now heads to the Senate for further consideration.