Joseph T. Priestley: Boulder-owned broadband has advantages

A Boulder-owned broadband network has many long-range advantages over other alternatives. The main impediment is the high up-front cost before it starts producing revenue. For background information, please read the excellent front-page article in the Daily Camera: “City eyes financing broadband”[1] by Alex Burness (Sunday, Dec.

10). My proposal is a variation of Elon Musk’s play book where a person can pre-order a Tesla Model 3 car by paying £1,000 to get on the waiting list. Musk uses this money to help build his Model 3 auto factory, and start production.

In the case of the proposed city-owned broadband network, the city could give any citizen who wanted to participate the option to make a pre-payment of £1,000 (or some other set amount) toward their eventual monthly internet bills. The incentive for the citizen would be that he/she could influence getting internet service sooner than might otherwise happen. That is, the city would build out the internet infrastructure sooner in those neighborhoods that had the higher pre-payment participation.

The advantage to the city would be to make city-ownership of the network much more feasible by significantly lowering the amount of the bond issuance necessary. Also, it would be a great way to gauge the city’s interest in this project.


I, for one, would be happy to pre-pay, to get a less costly superior internet service sooner rather later. I currently pay Comcast about £85 a month for 120 megabits per second speed while my friend in Longmont pays their municipal broadband utility about £50 a month for a speed that consistently exceeds 900 megabits per second.

City Council please take notice. Joseph T. Priestley



  1. ^ “City eyes financing broadband” (

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