Longmont, CO

Mayor Brian Bagley

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On Longmont

“Like electricity, the Internet has become a crucial utility for American families and businesses. Longmont’s residents want and need reliable high-speed Internet. And through NextLight™, they’re getting access to the fastest and most dependable network around.”

On Next Century Cities

“When other cities have the same interests and the same challenges, it just makes sense to learn from them. There’s no sense in reinventing the wheel. We know that cutting-edge broadband is vital to Longmont’s homes, schools, and businesses, and by working with Next Century Cities, we can share our NextLight experience while also learning from our partners. It makes all of us better.”

What Longmont is working on

Our NextLight fiber-optic broadband network has made Longmont into Colorado’s first Gig City, providing citywide symmetrical gigabit speeds with no data caps or contracts. NextLight was named the 2017 Community Broadband  Project of the Year by the National Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisors (NATOA), and in 2018, PC Magazine named NextLight the fastest ISP in the nation, displacing two-time champion Google Fiber. “Who could beat Google at its own game? NextLight, that’s who,” the magazine wrote. “There’s no denying small local players like this are the best hope we all have for seeing major gains in connectivity speed.”

The name reflects Longmont history. In 1912, the city turned its “first light” on by providing its own electricity despite fierce private industry opposition. Today, the light and glass of fiber optics provide Longmont with its “next light,” a model that communities across the country are studying as they prepare their own efforts. “Longmont has been the poster child for municipal broadband in Colorado,” the newspaper BizWest noted.

Longmont built its core fiber-optic loop in 1997, but a public-private partnership to build out a citywide internet service fell through when the private partner declared bankruptcy in 2001, not long after the agreement was signed. Plans for the network were further stalled in 2005 when the Colorado Legislature adopted Senate Bill 152, forbidding local governments from offering telecommunications services. Local voters restored those rights to the city in 2011, despite an industry-led opposition campaign that spent nearly $420,000. In 2014, Longmont began construction and offered service to the first NextLight customers.

Today, more than 50% of Longmont has subscribed to NextLight, with new customers joining every day. Offering both high-speed internet and Digital Voice telephone service, NextLight continues to transform homes and businesses across the city.

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