On January 29, 2014, LinkWYOMING partners Troy Babbitt (Broadband Enterprise Architect, State of Wyoming) and Don Bishop (Vice President and CTO for ICF International’s Broadband Team), presented a webinar on "Current Broadband Technology Options in Wyoming."
This webinar focused on (1) the current technologies for broadband delivery in Wyoming, including updates on the recently completed Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP) middle mile networks, the Wyoming Unified Network and potential last mile solutions; and (2) potential business models and sources of funding that are specifically geared toward rural areas.
Read more, download the slides and transcript, and view the recorded webinar.
Broadband can greatly impact Wyoming's agriculture industry.
In Jan. 2014, ICF International (in partnership with LinkWYOMING) published a revised white paper on Broadband's Positive Impact on Ranching and Agriculture in Wyoming.
Download the current list of Internet Service Providers who are actively participating in the LinkWYOMING broadband mapping efforts.
Participating providers' advertised upload and download speeds, types of technology, coverage area and link to company website are included in the State Broadband Map and the National Broadband Map.
The LinkWYOMING team needs your help!
LinkWYOMING has launched a crowd-sourcing project to analyze mobile broadband performance across the state with special interest in rural areas. The goal of the project is to identify locations where broadband coverage for mobile devices needs to be improved.
LinkWYOMING hopes you will join the effort by simply downloading the free network testing app on your smart phone or tablet to ensure your neighborhood is tested. You can find the app in the Apple Store and in Google Play by searching for “linkwyoming”. The more we can learn about problematic network areas, the better we are able to address them.
Read more, download the app, and learn how the app helps you and state planners.
Funding for LinkWYOMING
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009 made funding possible for broadband projects, including mapping and planning, infrastructure, public computer centers and sustainable adoption programs. States' broadband mapping and planning projects are made possible through the National Telecommunications and Information Administration's (NTIA) State Broadband Initiative (SBI) grant program, formerly known as State Broadband Data and Development (SBDD).
In Nov. 2009, Wyoming received an approximately $1.8 million grant to fund the State's SBDD project years 1-2. An additional $2.36 million grant was awarded in Sept. 2010 to fund project years 3-5.
This project serves as a catalyst for increased access to and use of broadband to better serve our citizens. With ubiquitous broadband, we can realize improved economic development, access to education and health care, enhanced public safety, improved government efficiencies, increased tourism, greater access to telework opportunities and more.
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Through initial research, we understand there are many reasons Wyoming residents do not use broadband. Perhaps the most commonly cited barrier is access: broadband must be available in order to adopt it. Where broadband is available, barriers to adopting it include high subscription costs, lack of broadband-ready devices, low awareness of broadband uses and concerns about privacy and security on the Internet. Through community collaboration and regional planning, this project will address these issues and many more.
In order to address expansion of this technology, we must first have a clear picture of where broadband currently exists in the state, and thus where our gaps in coverage are. Following a thorough assessment and inventory of key Wyoming assets, we have developed an online, interactive mapping tool revealing our broadband footprint. The state mapping tool displays a detailed footprint of broadband coverage by technology type and speed in both rural and urban areas throughout the state and provides consumers with links to individual broadband providers in their area. Data collected for the LinkWYOMING maps is provided to NTIA for inclusion in the National Broadband Map.
While consumers may use this content to identify and order broadband services, it is equally important for policymakers and Internet Service Providers (ISPs). Policymakers can identify and address barriers to expansion. ISPs can identify gaps in coverage and an estimated cost to fill them.
Prior to developing this mapping tool, we were unable to accurately articulate the levels of current and future demand for broadband services for Wyoming businesses, households and community anchor institutions. By collecting and analyzing market data, we are able to profile county-specific broadband service demands and complete a geographic analysis of that demand relative to available infrastructure.
Another challenge LinkWYOMING addressed was the absence of coordinated regional leadership to plan and implement local sustainable adoption. Beginning late 2010, we facilitated regional teams to develop effective, local strategies and regional broadband plans.
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Our Role in Addressing Broadband Challenges and Solutions
LinkWYOMING is not intended to replace or compete with other broadband efforts in our state, but rather to identify and work with new and existing projects that share our goal. Through collaboration, we can finally realize greater access to and use of broadband technologies to improve business opportunities and the quality of life for all residents of Wyoming.
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