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Northern Colorado Broadband

Steve Olson Responds
February 20, 2018 3:05 pm

Below is an email I received from Steve Olson Ward 3 Councilor in repsonse to my paper analyzing voting patterns on Ballot 2C in 2015. His comments are in black, my responses in blue. Enjoy.

Richard Toftness 
3:05 PM (12 minutes ago)
to steveolsonforc., Stephen, Brieana, CCouncil, John
     Thanks for responding to my work. Please see my comments below.

Old news from Toftness. 
>> Hardly, the work you just read is new. 

The BIG difference is that I am not asking those NOT interested (70%) to be at risk for $100 million for something the (30%) want. 
>> Check your figures as they are not accurate.

 Also, the study group are representatives of business and therefore are promoting broadband because of their business interest.

>> That is correct they had lots to say about deficiencies. The task force was a great group of people that saw the benefit for our community and over time their enthusiasm grew. We also had a few people from the community that showed up and presented their opinions. Many discussions resulted from healthy differences of opinion.

  I have repeatedly stated that I agree that businesses have a need for hight speed interned.  BUT, we error by lumping residential in with the businesses and using the business need to justify a new utility for residential customers based on the needs of businesses. 

>> Yes it is a WANT today to have fast reliable service for basic residential, in a few years it will be a Need. If I remember correctly, 31% of the registered businesses in Loveland are home based. Without reliable and fast Internet they do not do as well or not at all.  Home based busiiness is where a lot of people start to build the dream of owning their own business.My business is international and I rely on the Internet, if I was not able to get adequate service, I would have to move. As it is, I still have to make concessions as it is not always suitable for transmitting large images.

 A need for business, but a WANT for residential.

So, I will restate my objection once again.  If the supporters are so confident of the success of this new utility, then let them accept the risk and exempt those that don’t want it from any financial obligation.  If that assurance is provided, count me in.  If protection is not given, I will strongly oppose this endeavor.

>>I hear you and I understand where you are coming from. I have respect for you staying with your opinion. What you probably don't know is a few years ago I was adamantly against the city getting into the broadband business. After a lot of thought, speaking with experts, reading and thinking about it, I have become a strong supporter. To have excellent service for our community I have come to believe will greatly strengthen the economic vitality of our community. It has happened other places and it will also happen here.

>> I would be interested in what research you have done concerning other communities that have faced a like challenge. How did they manage a protected group? What did they do when the community improvement was successful and everyone benefited? Did they then let the group that took no risk take advantage of the benefits? Has there been a community that has experience a decline in economic vitality and business growth after putting in a municipal broadband system? I could go on, but you get the idea.

>> I have the opinion that you, Jersvig, Overcash and Clark (by the way I really respect Clark. I don't agree with him but he thinks deeply and is open to changing his mind) have heard a lot about the Task Force and its many personalities from a single source. I would caution you that a view through a key hole never provides a complete picture.

>> I also sincerely thank you for your service as the job of a councilor in Loveland is not easy and the hours you put in are a remarkable gift to the community. Ralph Trenary has a great explanation of how diffcicult it is. Ask him to tell you sometime.

>> The best to you going forward,