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.