Denver voters could open the airwaves to publicly funded high-speed internet this November

Denverite: To close the gap between internet haves and have-nots, Denver might get into the business of broadband, offering options beyond mainstay providers like Comcast and Centurylink.

On Tuesday, Denver City Council pushed a ballot initiative out of the Finance and Governance Committee that would exempt the city from a state law prohibiting investments by local governments in broadband services and infrastructure. If the full legislative body votes to refer the measure to voters, and if voters OK the idea in November, Denver could offer a public internet utility or partner with private companies to do so.

Councilman Paul Kashmann, who sponsored the ballot measure, framed internet as fundamental infrastructure for a city, akin to public transit. Internet access unlocks wealth and happiness, he said, but only for people who have it.

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