Wyoming Makes Historic Investment to Expand High-Speed Internet Access

Dec 13, 2023 | Featured, Regional News

Cheyenne, WY (RELEASE) December 13th, 2023 — Governor Mark Gordon announced that Wyoming has recommended funding 32 applications totaling $70.5 million in federal funds to expand broadband to more than 11,000 locations across the state that do not currently have access to high-speed internet. 

“This is the single-largest broadband investment in Wyoming history,” Governor Gordon said. “These federal funds will ensure Wyoming communities and businesses that currently lack access to high-quality internet will be equipped with the modern infrastructure they need to access critical services.”The U.S. Treasury launched the Coronavirus Capital Projects Fund (CPF) in 2021, funded by the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) which provides $10 billion for eligible governments to carry out critical capital projects that directly enable work, education, and health monitoring, including remote options, in response to the COVID 19 public health emergency.Governor Gordon designated $70 million of the ARPA/CPF funding for broadband infrastructure improvements across the state to ensure Wyomingites have the ability to telework, learn from home, and access telemedicine. The Wyoming Business Council Broadband Office is the administrator of the funds. In February 2023, the US Treasury approved $70.5 million to expand broadband infrastructure in Wyoming through the CPF program. All projects must be completed by December 31, 2026.The Connect Wyoming CPF program was designed to distribute this CPF funding, focusing on deploying broadband infrastructure to bring high-quality internet service to unserved or underserved homes, businesses, and communities. Aligned with U.S. Treasury Coronavirus Capital Projects Fund guidance, fiber-optic infrastructure is the preferred solution, providing future-proof capital investment for bandwidth scalability as technology evolves with future bandwidth requirements. The program’s goal is to provide affordable universal access to reliable broadband services with a minimum of 100 Mbps upload and download speeds with low latency in the awarded areas, focusing on broadband access to unserved and underserved areas, with all infrastructure to be installed, owned, and operated by the applicant.The Wyoming Business Council (WBC) received 116 applications totaling $413 million in project costs, with $88 million in provider contributions, for a total grant request of $325 million. The WBC retained CTC Technologies as an independent unbiased consultant to review the applications and make a recommendation to the council for the grant awards. “We received a number of excellent applications from internet service providers across Wyoming and these awards enhance connectivity in all corners of the state,” shared Josh Dorrell, CEO of the Wyoming Business Council. “These are big, complex projects that will help us build local capacity and create more opportunities for the people of Wyoming to learn, do business, and enjoy a higher quality of life.”