Fort Collins Connexion will provide high-speed, reliable, low-cost internet access to the entire community within a few years, a critically important investment in the city's future that residents and businesses should enthusiastically support.
Fort Collins Connexion is city-provided fiber broadband internet, phone and television service.
It was launched after a 2017 city ballot initiative passed with 57% of the vote.
Construction began in August 2019 and is expected to be completed within 36 to 48 months.
Construction started in my neighborhood in November 2020.
- Provide fast internet to all (families, businesses, schools, libraries, hospitals, mobile homes, low-income housing).
- Internet should be a public utility (like phone, electric, gas, water, sewer, USPS).
- Designed to serve the community, not generate profit.
- Lower the digital divide.
- Net neutrality, equal access vs. closed internet, pay to play, price tiers.
- Break up the duopoly of commercial broadband providers (Comcast, CenturyLink).
- Provide faster speeds, better customer service, and lower prices for all.
- Attracts people and businesses.
- Economic growth and development, job creation and retention.
- Worker productivity, including city workers.
- Improves city systems - government, transport, utilities, health, safety.
- Free public wi-fi hot spots.
- Fiber can be installed with electricity, reducing cost of new builds.
- The majority of Fort Collins citizens voted for city-run broadband.
- Longmont and many other cities have successfully implemented city broadband.
- High speed internet is more important for home videoconferencing for work and school due to COVID-19, especially in homes with large families and many connected devices.
- Fiber is faster and more reliable than current commercial tech (cable, DSL).
- Fiber is the most future-oriented tech, with much faster speeds possible.
- Speed becomes more important with time, and older services will soon become obsolete.
- Commercial providers won’t risk investing in large-scale fiber installations.
- Commercial providers could even use Connexion to deliver their services.
- Connexion: 1G $60/month, no contract, free installation, no data limit, city wide.
- Comcast: 1G $100/month no contract + taxes/fees/$99 installation, 1.2TB/month data limit, 85.2% availability.
- Century Link: 1G $65/month + taxes/fees/installation, 8.1% availability.
- Clear, simple, transparent pricing is published on the Connexion site.
- Prices are stable, and may allow cheaper options later as more people sign up.
- Digital Equity program in 2021 will offer reduced rates for low-income customers.
- No pushy salespeople, hidden prices, confusing deals/promotions, price increases after a year, bells and whistles you didn’t ask for.
- No taxes are used to pay for it; bonds are paid by customers and investors.
- 94.11% of residents have access to broadband, 90.4% have at least 2 choices.
- Connexion currently doesn’t offer cheap lower-speed options like Longmont does.
- Comcast currently offers a few slightly cheaper (but slower) internet options.
- Not everyone can afford any home internet, or needs super-fast internet yet.
- Most people currently make the most use of very high internet speed for fun (HD video, gaming), not work or learning which usually require much lower bandwidth.
- Comcast TV/video channels, options, prices are better than Connection.
- Municipal broadband may actually decrease competition in some communities.
- Connexion website has FAQ and 2 quarterly reports but can’t give rollout details.
- The project is 6 months behind schedule due to winter weather and COVID-19.
- Large up-front infrastructure investment required $142 million in bonds plus interest.
- The city needs to attract enough customers (28%) to pay off bonds and interest.
- If not, city taxpayers would have to pay them back through higher utility bills.
- Future competition with new commercial technologies (e.g. 5G networks)?
- The city’s advertising budget is much smaller than that of the commercial providers.
- The Colorado Cable Telecommunications Association (which included incumbent Comcast) spent nearly $1 million on lobbying efforts against Connexion.
- States resist municipal broadband because commercial providers pay state taxes.
- Support or opposition to municipal broadband is mostly along political party lines.
- Conservative cable industry lobby groups such as the American Legislative Exchange Council convinced 26 states to ban or restrict municipal broadband.
- Libertarians and most other conservatives resist most government-provided services that compete with large corporations and reduce inequalities.
Fort Collins Broadband Providers
- Fort Collins Connexion Facebook: FCConnexion
- Xfinity (Comcast)
- Broadband Now: Internet Providers in Fort Collins, CO
Fort Collins Connexion News and Opinions
- Next Century Cities: Connecting with Connexion of Fort Collins, Colorado
- New America: Fort Collins Community Overcomes Long Odds, Wins Municipal Broadband Vote
- Associated students of Colorado State University: Declaration of Support for the Fort Collins Broadband Initiative
- Ars Technica: Comcast, beware: New city-run broadband offers 1Gbps for $60 a month
- Complete Colorado: Fort Collins broadband experiment still not performing as planned
- Coloradoan 5/25/2018: Why you might want to buy (or not) Fort Collins broadband bonds
- Coloradoan 3/27/2020: Why Fort Collins Connexion has been so quiet on the municipal broadband buildout
- Coloradoan 5/10/2020: In the City: Connexion provides WiFi to students without internet
- Coloradoan 8/1/2020: Opinion: Connexion has been an expensive disappointment
- Coloradoan 8/24/2020: Opinion: Give Connexion time to deliver internet service citywide
- Fort Collins Connexion FTTH Construction - detailed four-part blog post describing the installation process in one neighborhood, August 2019-May 2020
- Vice: More Than 750 American Communities Have Built Their Own Internet Networks
- Allconnect: Need a reason to move? Check out the cheap high-speed internet at these 11 cities!
- Greeley Tribune: Greeley’s city broadband exploration starts to take physical shape
- Denver Post: Should Denver enter the internet business to compete with Comcast and CenturyLink? Voters will get a say in November.
- Larimer County: Broadband
- Community Networks: Successes and Failures
- Complete Colorado: Municipal Broadband taking many forms in Colorado; mixed results make investment risky
- Complete Colorado: DU Professor: Municipal Broadband experiments failing nationwide
- European Union: Broadband Technologies
- Fortune: 5G Impact on Broadband/
- BBC: Will fibre broadband be obsolete by 2030 - and what about 5G?