February Blog: High Speed Broadband 
Remember the days when we logged onto the Internet through those old dial-up modems, with the loud screeching and squawking, and were excited when we could "upgrade" to a 56k speed?  We thought we had it made. . . sure, it might take five minutes to download one color photo, but this was cutting edge!

Fast forward in time 20+ years and the thought of connecting to the Internet at anything less than 20 Mb per second is disappointing.  Imagine that. . . the speed that we connect to CenturyLink or Comcast today is approximately 357 times the speed of that old 56k modem!  Of course, there are times when we may be able to get somewhat higher speeds, while at other times that speed may drop down to anywhere from 1.5 Mbps to 12 Mbps.  Needless to say, the households of today have a need to be constantly connected to the Internet at a decently high speed to handle everything from smart phones, tablets, and computers, to smart tv's, to security systems, to streaming video, to smart water bowls for dogs (yes, there are water bowls that are connected to the Internet), and virtually everything in between.  The need for this interconnectivity has never been higher. 

Unfortunately, for many in our community there are significant limitations to this interconnectivity.  While most of us assume that we live in a fairly metropolitan area and the service providers have blanketed Fountain with quality service, that is not necessarily the case.  Many households in Fountain do not have the ability to connect up with one of the major service providers to receive high speed internet service.  We've heard these frustrations as citizens contact the City to see how we can help solve this problem.

Many communities are working towards solutions to this issue by exploring the possibility of implementing High Speed Broadband, either on their own or in partnership with the private sector.  Cities like Longmont, CO (population 92,000) and Ammon, ID (population 15,000) are implementing Gigabit service for their residents.  Imagine that. . . Gigabit service offers a speed of over 17,800 times the speed of that old 56k modem!  This speed of service means that the movie that might take 20 minutes to download to our tablet or computer today would only take a whopping 34 seconds.  And they are providing this service at costs that are astronomically low. . . $50/month in at least one case.

Why is this important to Fountain?  Exploring a High Speed Broadband solution like these other cities would mean that we are providing better access and service for our citizenry as well as the high speed connectivity that is being demanded by the businesses of today.  And doing it at a cost that is dramatically lower than what most of us currently pay.  Recently, the City Council heard a presentation on this as we explore the feasibility of implementing High Speed Broadband service in Fountain.  Since this requires voter approval in Fountain, we plan on holding public meetings in the future and working with our community to decide what makes sense for us.  These are exciting times and we have a great opportunity to make a real difference for our community moving forward.  Stay tuned. . . we would love to get your feedback as this progresses!  
Posted by Scott Trainor On February 15, 2018 at 9:19 AM