It's a warm, late-August day on Glen Fuller's Western Colorado farm, and a whiff of something vaguely citrus wisps through the air.
It's the smell of hops. The lush vines climb 18-feet high, drooping with cone-shaped flowers, nearly neon in their greenness. Fuller is in the middle of harvest, cutting vines by the row and feeding them through a machine to remove the aromatic cones. Many of his hops will be used nearly immediately, as Front Range brewers gear up for a seasonal brew called a "wet hopped beer."
Google Fiber, move over. With CenturyLink's Tuesday announcement that it would bring ultrafast broadband Internet to Denver, businesses and residents in the Mile High City will have the opportunity access the internet at speeds at up to 1 gigabit per second.
But Denver is not the only Colorado city with the option to go superfast online. From the rural to the Front Range, efforts to improve Internet access are spread across the state.
When the city of Longmont's fracking ban was struck down by a Boulder judge, it could have been seen as a setback for those seeking to assert local control over surging oil and gas development along Colorado's populous Front Range.
A longer view of the matter, though, shows that local communities all across the state have exerted control over oil and gas within their boundaries for decades.