DENVER — Today, The Pew Charitable Trusts released a brief entitled “How States Are Expanding Broadband Access: New research identifies tactics for connecting underserved communities,” which features Colorado and eight other states working to expand rural broadband coverage. The State of Colorado participated in interviews and site visits as part of Pew’s ongoing look at how states are bridging the broadband gap. The goal of the report is to help state leaders across the nation understand the components of successful broadband programs.
Broadband availability in Colorado has increased from 59 to 87 percent in the past four years, with 100 percent of all school districts achieving the current FCC connectivity standards. But more work remains and the state is committed to modernizing Colorado’s broadband infrastructure to expand internet access and help rural communities overcome economic challenges.
“Colorado’s rural communities need access to affordable and reliable broadband,” said Governor Jared Polis. “It is essential to our economy and our future.”
Colorado Broadband Office Executive Director Anthony Neal-Graves added, “Closing the rural broadband gap requires creativity, bipartisan collaboration, and investment.”
Since 2013, Colorado has invested in broadband initiatives with the goal of providing rural broadband access to 92 percent of rural households by June 2020. Polis recently released the administration’s Rural Economic Blueprint, which outlines ways the state will continue building a Colorado that works for everyone, especially those outside of the Front Range.
In the brief, Pew lists the five elements that define state broadband “Promising Practices” as identifying stakeholder engagement, policy framework, planning and capacity building, funding and operations, and program evaluation and evolution. Pew validates Colorado’s dedication to interagency and stakeholder collaboration in the pursuit of broadband access for all Coloradans.