Gov., Business Council use CARES Act to expand broadband for remote needs
CHEYENNE, Wyo. — Governor Mark Gordon, together with state legislators, have worked to develop a broadband expansion initiative in response to the COVID-19 crisis. The goal of this initiative is to provide internet access in areas where there is no or little broadband so Wyomingites can access tele-health, tele-education or work remotely. During a special meeting Friday, the Wyoming Business Council Board of Directors approved 37 projects totaling $86 million in federal CARES Act funding for this expanded broadband infrastructure throughout the state.
“This funding will help connect rural communities in Wyoming that may not have had the chance to get service otherwise,” Gov. Gordon said. “Now, the people in Wyoming’s most rural communities will be able to access the essential services they need to cope with the effects of COVID-19, and to access the opportunities that high-speed internet provides for years to come.”
Find a list of approved Connect Wyoming projects on the Business Council website. These projects will impact 15 counties and 54 communities.
A committee of Business Council staff and Board of Directors, Broadband Advisory Council members and Governor’s office staff recommended applications that did not compete with existing providers who offer service speeds of at least 25 megabits per second download and 3 megabits per second upload, as defined by Wyoming statute.
“The funds help communities that need it most and support projects in areas without adequate service,” Business Council Board member Erin Moore said. “This provides accessibility for our most rural communities, which is vital in these extraordinary circumstances.”
Business Council Broadband Manager Ryan Kudera said, “We are proud to lend our expertise to this important work, and we look forward to continuing to serve Wyoming.”