City approves broadband lure with incentives
Companies considering investing in broadband infrastructure in Grand Junction may be able to take advantage of some incentives approved Wednesday night by the Grand Junction City Council.
Councilors signed off on a Broadband Capital Funding plan, which offers up to 50 percent, or no more than $10,000 per project, for capital construction costs for companies to install high-speed fiber connections.
Businesses that use the fund must repay the city within three years. Approved projects would be in areas that currently are not served with broadband.
Grand Junction is rolling out the plan as a way to move forward after councilors stopped a plan earlier this year to invest more than $70 million to create a citywide broadband network with SiFi/Nokia, City Manager Greg Caton said Wednesday night.
The plan approved Wednesday further defines applicable broadband projects with speeds of 100 megabits per second upstream and downstream.
Representatives from Charter and CenturyLink also offered presentations to councilors Wednesday night, but those plans were not up for approval from the city.
CenturyLink proposed offering symmetrical 1-gigabit-per-second high-speed internet to Grand Junction residents through a FiberHoods Initiative, if the city invests, markets and helps CenturyLink presell enough customers on the $80-per-month service.
Charter Communications representatives said they would increase their offerings in Grand Junction to the same level of service as major markets such as Dallas, Los Angeles and New York. That includes basic service of download speeds of 100 megabits per second and upload speeds of 10 megabits per second.