Originally published on Thu February 26, 2015 4:27 pm
The Federal Communications Commission approved the policy known as net neutrality by a 3-2 vote at its Thursday meeting, with FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler saying the policy will ensure "that no one — whether government or corporate — should control free open access to the Internet."
The Open Internet Order helps to decide an essential question about how the Internet works, requiring service providers to be a neutral gateway instead of handling different types of Internet traffic in different ways — and at different costs.
"Today is a red-letter day," Wheeler said Thursday.
A lack of access to high-speed internet is an issue for rural communities on the Western Slope.
Region 10, an organization of governments that serves the area, is trying to address this problem.
The organization recently got a $100,000 grant from the Colorado Department of Local Affairs to make a proposal on how to improve broadband access in six counties: Delta, Gunnison, Hinsdale, Montrose, Ouray, and San Miguel.
People living in many parts of rural Colorado still don’t have access to high speed Internet. It’s a problem for schools and businesses, and in eastern Colorado it is making it harder for farmers to take full advantage of the latest technology even as state lawmakers passed legislation to try and even the playing field.
Slow Internet is a fact of life for many rural Americans, and residents of Western Colorado are no exception. There have been many failed attempts to bring faster Internet to KVNF's listening area, the latest being Eagle Net.
Now, there's yet another idea on the table. The Delta Montrose Electric Association is considering expanding broadband to much of rural Delta and Montrose counties. We begin our report at a local non-profit organization whose business is seriously impacted by the slow internet speeds.
Improved access to broadband internet is starting to become a reality for Colorado, even the rural Western Slope. The EAGLE‑Net Alliance was given a grant in September 2010 to build the EAGLE‑Net a broadband network around the state. KVNF’s Ariana Brocious spoke to EAGLE-Net Alliance Regional Representative Patrick Swonger about the project and it’s regional impacts.