The House passed Representative Chris Kennedy’s bipartisan bill to invest $75 million to increase broadband internet access across the state on Third Reading
DENVER, CO– The House passed a bill to help close the digital divide and fund broadband development throughout the state. This bill is part of the Colorado Comeback state stimulus, a package of legislation that will invest roughly $800 million into helping Colorado recover faster and build back stronger. The bill passed by a vote of 49-13.
“Access to dependable broadband isn’t a luxury, it’s an absolute necessity,” said Rep. Chris Kennedy, D-Lakewood. “But for far too many Coloradans, getting online and connected to work, telehealth, school, and other crucial needs is an uphill battle. Today we voted to make a robust investment in developing reliable broadband across the state, helping workers, students, and families build back stronger.”
HB21-1289, also sponsored by Rep. Mark Baisley, R-Roxborough Park, codifies the Colorado Broadband Office and creates different grant programs to support broadband infrastructure development. It provides $75M to increase internet access across Colorado through the deployment of devices, and the development of middle and last mile infrastructure to support services that have become a necessity during the pandemic, like telehealth. The bill specifically includes $20M for broadband deployment by the Ute Mountain and Southern Ute Tribes.