2A Huge Win for Longmont Community

Comcast loses, Longmont WINS

Big Money Loses Big

The Occupy (your city name here) movement has many issues it is trying to bring to light and one of them, as far as I can tell, is how the 99% overcome the rule of the 1% embodied in big government and big corporations. If they movement needs a recent win to be able to hold up and claim as it’s own, it has no further to look this morning than Longmont, Colorado.

In 2005, big corporations, (Comcast and Qwest), and big government, (the Colorado State Senate), conspired to pass a law that withheld from the citizens of every municipality in Colorado, the freedom to decide if they could/should be able to provide much needed broadband services, as a city, to it’s citizens. This law was particularly onerous for Longmont as the city already had an 18 mile fiber optic network in place and was using it to the benefit of it’s citizens. Big business and big government decided, no, you can no longer have free access to what you already own.

This morning, November 2nd 2011, the citizens of Longmont can congratulate themselves in overthrowing big business and big government right here in their hometown. Comcast launched it’s 2nd campaign in as many years to defeat the ballot issue that would keep broadband services in Longmont under their and CenturyLink’s (Qwest), control. Individual citizens did what they could, against an onslaught of spending by Comcast, (the final amount well be well north of $300K), to defeat big corporation’s intentions this time around. Good for you Longmont!

Now, we look to that excellent hometown organization, Longmont Power and COMMUNICATIONS :-) , to come up with a plan and execute it, to bring us much higher broadband speed, and better service, just as they have brought us electricity for a hundred years. They have already proven that they are capable and prudent with the funds they have available and I have no reason to think broadband services from them will be any different. Way to go Longmont! Once again, leading the way in the nation. You’ve given everyone something to celebrate this morning. In our little town, the 99%, (to be specific, 60% of the 99%), won the vote. Way to go!

  5 comments for “2A Huge Win for Longmont Community

  1. Mike johns
    November 8, 2011 at 3:29 pm

    It’s doubtful that I’ll be using the city’s broadband. But I recognized that we were prevented from doing so by the efforts of big money and easily bought politicians. That alone was reason enough to vote for 2A. Sooner or later americans will wake up to the nature of that particular cancer and the stench of lies it exudes. Longmont does a good job with it’s other utilities.

  2. November 17, 2011 at 2:14 pm

    Longmont utilities are some of the best in the nation…a great combination of inexpensive, reliable, and environmentally friendly. These utilities cannot be provided easily or efficiently by the private sector. Broadband, however, is another story. It is a service that is already provided efficiently and inexpensively for Longmont. There are many providers from which to choose. For those who can’t afford to buy it, free access is also available in many public and private places (library, schools, coffee shops, etc.). Attempts to use our fiber optic loop have repeatedly failed because it is not profitable. Because of the competition from existing efficient providers, I predict that this venture would again be a money-loser that requires significant public subsidy. I believe the public good would be better served better and for less money if we provide help to those who need it to access the service of existing providers.


  3. November 17, 2011 at 2:22 pm

    Jeff, I disagree. The rates for Comcast (which is the only legitimate choice in my humble opinion since Qwest DSL is a nightmare both in terms of reliability and cost) are at least twice what’s reasonable. How do I know? When I was going to turn OFF my service for financial reasons suddenly they could drop their rates significantly. I believe the cable companies have been profiteering for YEARS and will continue to do so until people have viable options. Also, in my opinion, Comcast is NOT obeying net neutrality rules and not only throttling traffic but packet-sniffing which is invasion of privacy. They’re not trustworthy in my opinion and that alone is enough reason not to do business with them if I don’t have to. I suspect many others have had the same experience.

  4. November 28, 2011 at 6:58 am

    You make some good points, especially about Comcast’s pricing. One of the hallmarks of a hyper-competitive and mostly a commodity industry with thin profit margins is inconsistent pricing accented by desperate measures to keep/win market share. Poor customer service is another. I am among the legions who have unpleasant stories about this aspect.

    I take issue with your statement that Comcast is the only legitimate choice because I use a couple of others with great success.

    I consistently use 4G service over my “tethered” t-mobile cell phone with speed (and without paying a fortune). I get this 4G service anywhere I go up and down the front range. It is the most important productivity tool I have added to my business in the last year.

    I also have gotten consistently good results using AT&T service when I am visiting those who purchase it instead of comcast.

    Beyond that, the satellite providers also provide decent service at a fair price. They don’t offer quite as high a speed as the coaxial fiber optic cables but it works for my uses.

    I have not tried the Qwest DSL internet (except occasionally connecting at others’ locations), so I take your word that it hasn’t been working reliably. I did, however, recently have a few conversations with the Century Link folks and they freely and publicly admitted the failings of the Qwest service they acquired.

    I mentioned my concerns (about my phone service), and they put me in touch with a specific individual who promptly ironed solved the problem. They might be worth keeping an eye on and giving another chance on internet?

    In summary, we have at least 5 service providers in Longmont (other than Qwest) and they are all clearly competing hard on price. The presence of 4G makes the service even more available than our loop does. For example, I couldn’t even pick up the loop during a visit to the Callahan house at 3rd and Terry but I got 4G just fine.

    I appreciate you letting me have my say here in this venue but I won’t belabor the point since the voters have spoken and the time for me to make my case with vigor was before the vote…not now.


  5. November 29, 2011 at 2:10 pm

    Thanks for your respectful posts, Jeff.

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