March 24, 2023

Wyoming Successfully Awarded Funding to Connect More than 11,000 Homes and Businesses to Affordable, High-Speed Internet

CHEYENNE, Wyo. – Governor Mark Gordon announced that Wyoming  has been awarded $70.5 million in federal funds for broadband infrastructure in locations that lack access to adequate service. The American Rescue Plan’s Capital Projects Fund (CPF) will deliver high-speed internet service to an estimated 11,7000 Wyoming homes and businesses.

“These funds will help Wyoming address many of the challenges laid bare by the coronavirus pandemic, particularly in rural areas of our state,” Governor Gordon said. “We will utilize these funds to ensure Wyoming communities and businesses have access to the high-quality, modern infrastructure they need to access critical services.”

Wyoming’s award will fund the Connect Wyoming program, a competitive grant program managed by the Wyoming Business Council (WBC). Connect Wyoming is designed to fund last-mile broadband infrastructure projects in areas throughout the state that currently lack internet access at speeds of 100/20 Megabits per second (Mbps) to facilitate access to work, education, and health monitoring. The program is designed to provide internet service with speeds of 100/100 Mbps symmetrical to households and businesses upon project completion.

“This CPF award will be a great continuation of Wyoming’s broadband development efforts, allowing us to provide internet service to areas that were previously difficult to serve,” said Elaina Zempel, WBC Broadband Manager. “We’re optimistic about the next few years as we are able to utilize various federal funds, starting with CPF, then leading into the Federal Digital Equity Program and the Broadband Equity, Access and Deployment (BEAD) Program. All of these opportunities will bring several hundred million dollars in infrastructure development to Wyoming to grow our local capacity in a very crucial area.”

Estimates show that CPF investments will serve approximately 20 percent of locations still lacking high-speed internet access across the state. Wyoming’s plan represents 64 percent of the state’s total allocation under the CPF program. Wyoming has submitted plans for the remaining CPF funds, and these applications are currently under review by the U.S. Department of the Treasury. 

For more information on Wyoming’s broadband efforts, contact WBC Broadband Manager Elaina Zempel at [email protected].

From Wyoming Business Council:

This project was developed by the Wyoming Small Business Development Center (SBDC) Network and funded through a Cooperative Agreement with U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) funds appropriated by Congress through the CARES Act to assist businesses in recovering from the negative effects of COVID-19. SBDC appreciates ongoing support from the SBA, The Wyoming Business Council, and the University of Wyoming.