A significant expansion of high-speed internet has occurred across Wyoming over the last two years. Governor Matt Mead continues to push for more expansion of broadband in the state to support existing technology companies and to attract new ones.
The most recent map from the National Telecommunications and Information Administration and Federal Communications Commission shows high-speed access for Wyomingites moved from 54% to 85% between 2010 and 2011. Over two-thirds of Wyoming students now have access to high-speed internet connections at school -- this is up from a quarter of students at the beginning of 2011.
The goal is to have even faster speed connections and create more online learning opportunities. Presently, all Wyoming schools have some form of broadband internet capacity. The plan for the next two years is to expand access to high-speed connectivity to 95% of schools -- ranging from one-room school houses to multi-classroom buildings.
"Wyoming teachers and students make excellent use of the internet as a learning tool and the value of the internet increases with faster speeds. We have to keep pace and make the best opportunity available in every classroom," Governor Mead said.
Fiber optics will provide a minimum of 10 megabyte download speeds. "This expansion of fiber networks by private partners means the infrastructure will also be available to more private businesses. This in turn creates more opportunities for telecommuting and for companies that need high-speed internet to do business in Wyoming. We want to have the best technology, the best infrastructure, available throughout the state. That's our goal. " Governor Mead said.
Enhanced broadband networks pave the way for more data centers to open and existing data centers to expand. Wyoming has witnessed results. Green House Data in Cheyenne and Ptolemy Data Centers in Sheridan are both expanding, while Microsoft is looking to increase the size of its data center in Cheyenne. Silver Star Communications is planning a data center opening in Afton.
"Wyoming has the potential to be a premier location for data centers. 2012 was a good year and my expectation is that 2012 represents just the beginning," Governor Mead said.