The CBO had a monumental legislative year! Three major pieces of legislation will impact the structure and funding of broadband support from the state—HB21-1109, HB21-1289 and SB21-060—and a few additional bills had components that touch on broadband. Full details on each bill can be found here.
Most excitingly, the CBO was codified as an official office in statute! This does not significantly change the work we already do, it simply makes us official in state law and provides more opportunities for funding and growth in the future. With this change, CBO now serves as the official central coordination of all broadband initiatives for the State of Colorado and therefore the Broadband Deployment Board (BDB), previously housed at DORA, is moving to OIT/CBO.
Secondly, broadband initiatives in Colorado received $75 million in federal ARPA funding. The Ute Mountain Ute and Southern Indian Ute Tribal Nations, BDB and DOLA Interconnectivity Grant Program will receive $60 million for last- and middle-mile projects. OIT will receive the remaining $15 million to implement programs and grants that subsidize the cost of internet service and provide devices and equipment for telehealth services.
Thank you to representatives Titone, Baisley, Kennedy, Roberts, Soper and senators Bridges, Donovan, Priola and Coram for their support and efforts this year. We wouldn't have been so successful without their sponsorship and dedication!
Our office will be working with stakeholders, agencies, the Governor's Office and U.S. Treasury over the next few months to implement the grants, programs and administrative needs in order to successfully roll out these changes and dollars with the greatest impact to Colorado residents. Stay tuned for more information!