Bailey Broadband Initiative
Bailey Broadband Initiative
Park County Government is committed to improving broadband service availability, affordability and abundance to as many citizens as possible. In the Bailey area, there may be a unique opportunity to come together as a community to solve this problem once and for all.
What do we know?
- Much of Park County is too spread out and too lightly populated to currently achieve a return on the investment needed for a private company to build out new broadband infrastructure. The one area of the county that may have enough population density to address this is Bailey.
- The only technology that has the proven capacity to serve today’s connectivity needs as well as the projected needs for 20-40 years in the future is a Fiber Optic Network.
- The county is conducting an engineering to study to understand the costs more fully but preliminary estimates suggest the cost of a Fiber-to-the-Home (FTTH) network for Bailey may approach $50 million dollars.
- The Bailey area appears to have sufficient population that an estimated contribution by the residents of $25 per month per house (assessed as an annual payment of $300 dollars per year for 20 years or a one-time payment of $6000) through the formation of a Local Improvement District or LID should be adequate to raise approximately half of the needed funds.
- The remaining funds would be contributed by a partner company that would own and operate the network providing Internet, TV and other advanced services to the area with speeds in excess of 100 Mbps.
Why would we want to do this?
- Broadband connectivity is the #1 question people ask about when buying a house in rural Colorado. Properties that lack connectivity are potentially rejected by the modern homebuyer. Communities that lack connectivity fail to attract younger residents and see their economic base continue to erode.
- In a national study, homes connected to a fiber optic network immediately realized an increase of up to 3.1% in value (EG a $300,000 home would add approximately $9300 in value) FTTH Council Study 2015
- Homes attached to a modern broadband network can access a whole range of services currently unavailable from home / business security monitoring and Tele-Health services to 4K video streaming and High Definition remote working opportunities
Won’t a big company do this for us for free like they always have?
- Rural America received electricity and phone service though federal grants given to private companies and were (in some cases are) continuing to function through state and federal subsidies today.
- There has never been a good enough return on investment for private companies to build out to Rural America without public subsidy.
- There are few federal or state funds to support a comprehensive broadband build-out in the foreseeable future although some grants may be applicable.
Why should I have to pay for this?
- In the same way that a neighborhood can decide that they want paved roads or central water, a group of citizens can decide that a broadband network is infrastructure worth having and take the steps to contribute to one. Requesting that their local government to manage the project, a Local Improvement District (LID) can be formed to collect funds through an assessment on property within the district to assist the county in securing long-term bond financing to construct the project.
- If we want it, we have to pay for part of it.
- As stated before, conversations with all of the local and national companies (Phone Company, Cable Company, Internet Service Providers) likely to provide such a network have indicated that there is insufficient return on investment to support a network built without additional funds.
- If we don’t pay for a significant part of it, we won’t get it any time soon.
I want this! What can I do?
- Fill out the Interest Form
- Talk to your friends, neighbors and Home Owners Association to help them understand why you think this is a good idea and encourage them to support it.
- Attend the organizational meetings to voice your support and find out about additional opportunities to assist the project.
Use these printable resources below when talking to your friends and neighbors in person to help them learn about the issue and indicate their interest. Sheets with collected addresses and signatures can be dropped off at any broadband meeting or scanned and emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Have a question that's not answered in the FAQ's?
- Submit it to Questions not answered in the FAQ's or ask in person at our next meeting