Loveland City Council gives final OK for city to pursue municipal broadband

Stock photoCity Council Chambers in the Loveland Municipal Building on Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2017.(Photo by Jenny Sparks/Loveland Repdorter-Herald)

By Julia Rentsch

Loveland will amend its Electric Enterprise utility to include communications services in due course, and begin development of a detailed municipal broadband business plan after several ordinances passed by the City Council Tuesday night.

The three ordinances adopted on second reading allow city staff to direct time and resources toward fulfilling the seven recommendations delivered to council by the Loveland Broadband Task Force Dec. 12. The first ordinance, to appropriate $2.5 million from the Power General Fund for staff to follow the recommendations, passed 8-1 with Councilor Dave Clark against; the second, to add communications to the Loveland electric utility, passed 5-4 with councilors Clark, Don Overcash, Jeremy Jersvig and Steve Olson against; the third, to transition the Task Force into a new city advisory board for communications, passed 7-2, with Clark and Olson against.

Following the recommendations will result in the city having a build-ready network design, a detailed business implementation plan and the structures in place for governance of an enterprise utility, as well as a more accurate cost-to-build estimate, in the next four to six months. City staff intend to move at a quick pace to get information in front of council prior to the deadline for adding a broadband question to the November city election ballot.

The question of whether to bring forth the possibility of high-speed broadband as a public city utility to the voters has featured prominently in council discussions of plans to build a network, particularly since Dec. 12. Council has received updates from city staff on their work on a broadband utility for about two years, including a meeting with six incumbent broadband, TV and phone providers at the end of January.

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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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