Longmont’s NextLight Wins Top Spot In PC Magazine’s Readers’ Choice Award

Longmont Nextlight logo

Longmont, Colorado’s NextLight community fiber network isn’t just delivering fast and affordable fiber access to locals, it’s consistently winning awards nationwide.

The city-owned network has topped PC Magazine’s Readers’ Choice rankings, which asked readers to rate their satisfaction with their residential broadband providers. Nextlight was also rated as the top gaming ISP of 2023, and was rated the fastest ISP in the nation in 2018 and the second fastest ISP by the magazine last year.

The city was also rated the 17th best work-at-home city in another 2022 survey. This latest survey asked magazine readers to assess ISP satisfaction based on speed, reliability and value. NextLight excelled at all three.

“NextLight's near-perfect scores, including an astronomic 9.9 for overall satisfaction, are unprecedented in the history of PCMag's surveys of ISPs,” the magazine noted. “The company's lowest score is for setup, and yet that number is still higher than almost any other rating earned by another ISP in any category.”

Longmont in PC Mag

36 percent of the magazine’s readership say they only have the choice of one ISP. As of 2020, ILSR data indicates that an estimated 83 million Americans live under a broadband monopoly. The result of such limited competition at the hands of consolidated monopoly power has been obvious for decades: spotty, slow, expensive broadband for millions of Americans.

Like many frustrated cities, Longmont decided to take matters into their own hands. The city first built its central fiber loop in 1997, and in August of 2014 began construction on a last mile network that now delivers affordable fiber access to every last city resident.

Despite locals having access to spotty service from both Comcast and Lumen (formerly Centurylink), the majority of locals subscribe to the city’s superior city-owned alternative. NextLight’s continued success is a far cry from the doomsday predictions made by local monopolies like Comcast that spent years trying to scuttle the project.

Similarly frustrated Colorado municipalities, buoyed by the state's recent decision to eliminate protectionist restrictions on community broadband, have increasingly looked to Longmont’s Nextlight (and Fort Collins’ Connexion) for inspiration.

“These awards speak to NextLight’s greatest strength: our community,” NextLight executive director Valerie Dodd told The Longmont Leader. “We began because our residents and businesses had a need for high-quality internet and it’s their passion for what we provide that allows NextLight – and Longmont – to keep getting better and better.”

ILSR’s Christopher Mitchell sat down with NextLight Director Dennis Pappas to discuss the network’s secrets to success during Episode 22 of our Connect This! show.

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