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New Law Injects $100 Million For High-Speed Internet In Rural Colorado

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Unserved rural areas in Colorado will soon have access to high-speed internet, thanks to the passage of a law Monday that will commit $100 million over five years for rural high-speed internet infrastructure.

As The Denver Business Journal reports, the law signed into law by Gov. John Hickenlooper Monday, redirects money used to subsidize rural local phone service and uses it for grants to companies proposing to build broadband infrastructure in unincorporated areas and small towns.

The funding comes from a 2.6 percent “high-cost support” fee on Colorado phone bills that, starting next year, will be put into a grant fund to reimburse companies for building rural high-speed internet infrastructure in unincorporated areas and small towns lacking high-speed internet.

An estimated $300 to $400 million is needed to extend broadband to the roughly 150,000 households that lack usable high-speed internet.