Boulder hires consultant to explore municipal broadband buildout

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Optic fiber

Optic fiber (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

BOULDER — The city of Boulder announced on Thursday that it has hired a consultant to conduct a broadband feasibility study, which will assess the technical aspects of building out municipal broadband services, as well as engage community members about what services they might like to see the city provide.

The goal is to have the study completed by May or June of 2016 so that, if the city council does decide to move forward with providing certain services, there would be time to place an initiative on the November ballot, if needed, to ask voters to fund such efforts.

But Don Ingle, information-technology director for the city, stressed Thursday that there is a lot to learn before the city gets to that point.

“There are a lot of variables that go into this,” Ingle said. “That’s why we’re doing the feasibility study.”

The city owns about 100 miles of conduit and dark fiber that it could use as a backbone to deliver fiber-optic Internet service to every home and business in town. And voters last year unshackled the city from state regulations that prohibit municipalities from providing broadband services without voter approval, opening the door for the city to explore such efforts. Voters in Fort Collins and Loveland did the same this week.

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About Mark Milliman

Mark Milliman is a Principal Consultant at Inphotonics Research driving the adoption and assisting local governments to plan, build, operate, and lease access open-access municipal broadband networks. Additionally, he works with entrepreneurs and venture capitalists to increase the value of their intellectual capital through the creation of strategic product plans and execution of innovative marketing strategies. With more than 22 years of experience in the telecommunications industry that began at AT&T Bell Laboratories, Mark has built fiber, cable, and wireless networks around the world to deliver voice, video, and data services. His thorough knowledge of all aspects of service delivery from content creation to the design, operation, and management of the network is utilized by carriers and equipment manufacturers. Mark conceived and developed one of the industry’s first multi-service provisioning platform and is multiple patent holder. He is active in the IEEE as a senior member. Mark received his B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Iowa State University and M.S. in Electrical Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University.

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