August’s Denver South Partnership Meeting focused on broadband and digital communication and how providers of these services are impacting the region. We also heard from Congressman Crow, who discussed the Infrastructure Bill recently passed by the Senate and his other activities supporting the small businesses and people of his district and Colorado more widely. Read on for a recap, or watch the full recording below.

Arapahoe County Commissioner, and Denver South board member, Nancy Sharpe kicked off the meeting, introducing the mission of Denver South, the scope of its work, and the first presenter, Congressman Jason Crow, Congressional District 6. Congressman Crow is part of the Armed Services Committee, the Small Business Committee, and the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. He talked us through his hopes for the Infrastructure Bill, as well as other initiatives that he is involved with which benefit Denver South businesses. The Next Generation Entrepreneur Corps Act, for example, was introduced to spur new business and job creation in underserved communities by starting a competitive fellowship for entrepreneurs. He discussed the SBA Cyber Awareness Act and the SBA Innovation Voucher Act, which will both support the burgeoning high-tech small businesses active in Denver South. He also detailed some of the other funding he has been able to earmark to support Colorado, including critical infrastructure spending, such as $10m to reduce congestion and improve the I-25 Belleview Avenue Interchange in Greenwood Village.

To focus on the topic of broadband and digital communication more closely, Monica Webb, Senior Director of Market Development and Strategic Partnerships, Ting, introduced her company and its activities nationwide, as well as in Denver South specifically. One of Ting’s core values is to increase internet accessibility; there are already 13 Ting Internet Cities around the US, including Centennial, Durango, and in the Roaring Fork area in Colorado. Ting’s emphasis is on building local networks, responding to local needs. In Centennial specifically, Ting has been working with the City government to expand the City’s existing fiber-optic network, including launching free internet at Centennial Center Park and its planned new data center in Centennial. She emphasized the importance of reliable broadband, not only for businesses but also for residents. With the growth in working from home, a strong internet connection adds to a company’s resiliency, as well as attracting residents and potential workers to the region.

Building on the theme of the importance of internet accessibility and adoption, Nicolas Jimenez, Director of Government Affairs, Comcast, discussed the work that his company is doing to enable more people to access and use online resources. He talked about Comcast’s ambitious plans for the state: to date, Comcast has connected over 480,000 Coloradans to the internet through its Internet Essentials scheme since 2011. Now, Comcast is set to invest $1bn to connect 50m people to the internet in the coming years. He talked in-depth about some of these initiatives and the importance not only of increasing access to the internet but also helping people use it – by reducing barriers to entry such as cost and computer equipment.

Watch the full meeting below and look out for the details of our next Partnership Meeting in October.