I’m a little behind on these. The session is over and Gov. Ritter has signed many bills into law. I will provide a synopsis of the session post in the next week, hopefully. For now, here are some things that have been sitting around.
Sen. Gail Schwartz’s SB08-215 would direct Colorado’s Chief Information Officer to identify broadband telecommunications service areas within Colorado and develop a map of those areas. That map would later be used to plan the deployment of broadband service to unserved areas of the state. As Sen. Schwartz noted, rural access to broadband has fallen way behind access in the Front Range.
Which is interesting, because the telecom corporations were given billions of welfare dollars as long as they deployed high-speed broadband to everybody within the U.S. Hasn’t happened has it? Neither broadband nor high-speed is really all that available. The U.S. ranks 25th in the world in broadband penetration. Japan’s broadband delivers data at an average rate of 14176 kb/s, nearly twice as much as the second place country, Sweden. The U.S. doesn’t appear in the top 10. We do however, place high on the list of cost for access. We pay the most for slow service.
Sen. Dan Gibbs HB08-1269, which would provide incentives for products that use timber killed by the mountain pine beetle infestation, passed the CO Senate unanimously. Good: wildfire is nonpartisan.
Gov. Ritter did sign HB08-1270, which extended the types of energy efficiency items HOAs must allow in Colorado. Now, wind generators, awnings, shutters, attich fans, swamp coolers and retractable clothes lines will be permitted.
More good energy news: HB08-1164 was sent to Gov. Ritter. This bill asks the Colorado Public Utilities Commission to consider purchasing utility-scale solar energy when it’s feasible to do so, and to take into account the future cost of carbon-based energy sources and the impace of greenhouse gases when purchasing energy. The local energy market will be opened to large scale solar energy production. To put “large” into perspective: one large scale solar plant could generate 250 new high-skilled jobs and $2 billion in private investment.