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Adams County to bring greater broadband internet access to underserved Coloradans with new partnership

Adams County to bring greater broadband internet access with new partnership
Adams County to bring greater broadband internet access with new partnership 02:04

Adams County is pushing for greater access to broadband internet in areas of Colorado that have typically been underserved.

"In 2024 the internet is a utility much like electricity and water and gas and heating. It's a necessity in our lives," said Cornelius Whitehead, a Westminster resident.


This week, the Adams County Board of Commissioners voted to approve an agreement with Google that will allow the company to install, maintain and operate their fiber-optic broadband network in the right-of-way of the county's unincorporated areas.

"I'm all for it," said Whitehead. "I am a hybrid schedule, but my household is a remote working household so it's relied upon every day."

"We have about 110,000 people who live in unincorporated Adams County. We don't have the traditional franchise agreements that municipalities do," said Emma Pinter, Chair of the Board of Adams County Commissioners. "So, this is an opportunity to get high speed internet service provider available to residents."

Pinter spoke with CBS Colorado in the Shaw Heights neighborhood on Wednesday, which is one of the first neighborhoods that could expect to see Google Fiber installation as early as this summer. The multi-year construction project will kick off for the rest of unincorporated Adams County in 2025.

"We're already going to start construction in Westminster this summer," said Alberto Garcia, Government and Community Affairs Manager for Google Fiber. "It's going to make sense for us to just start here and start to build out."


Adams County school districts like Westminster Public Schools have already seen how access to the internet impacts their community. A spokesperson tells CBS Colorado roughly 250 families didn't have internet access at home during the pandemic when the district brought hotspots into neighborhoods.

"We're going to do everything we can to put a product out there to make sure people who cannot afford that can have the best chance to do that," said Garcia.

Garcia says not only do people who buy into Google Fiber stand to benefit from another provider entering into the community.

"Whether they come with us, whether they come with another internet provider, it's going to bring prices down. It's going to give you a better option," said Garcia.

For residents like Whitehead, more competition between existing providers is something he can get behind.

"It forces the people who are already providing services to either increase their service speed or lower their rates to be more competitive," he said.

Garcia says once construction begins in neighborhoods, residents will be given 24 to 48 hours notice about the construction, and it can typically last one to two days for crews to install the fiber lines into the ground.

It will make residents' lives better moving forward because they'll have access to that high quality internet that will allow them to do video calling and important meetings from home," said Pinter.

Adams County is the first county in the state of Colorado to partner with Google Fiber on internet broadband access, though the provider does have agreements already with cities including Lakewood, Westminster, Golden and Wheat Ridge. 

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