Dear Editor:

A barrier to economic growth in Chaffee County was removed when Gov. Jared Polis signed the Broadband Infrastructure Installation Bill into law on Monday.  The bill, now a law, allows utility easements to be used for broadband infrastructure installation.

Chaffee Commissioner Keith Baker attended the signing to celebrate this and several other key bills beneficial to Chaffee County residents, businesses, and visitors.  Commissioner Baker told me, “Reliable, high-performance broadband is as essential to modern life as reliable electricity.”

Keith described to me many ways faster, more reliable broadband could enhance our quality of life and speed economic development in Chaffee County: communications, information, telehealth, home security systems, and telecommuting that all depend on reliable broadband connectivity.

Commissioner Baker personally lobbied for the bill and serves on the Colorado Counties, Inc. legislative steering committee that lobbied for it as well. He has used every opportunity to keep rural broadband and Chaffee County’s access to high-performance broadband at the forefront of state and national-level legislative discussions.

We a fortunate to have such a knowledgeable, informed and committed commissioner in Keith Baker who helped bring this important economic asset to Chaffee County and attended the bill signing by the governor.

JoAnne Allen

Nathrop, Co  81236