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Unearthing a Gigabit Economy in Wyoming

Silver Star Communications focuses on businesses with a gigabit network deployment in western Wyoming.

Jason Meyers

November 19, 2014

2 Min Read
Unearthing a Gigabit Economy in Wyoming

Silver Star Communications takes the concept of economic development seriously when it comes to its gigabit network deployment in Wyoming: The company believes gigabit-level broadband availability will help forge an entirely new economic sector in the state.

The carrier's new Gigabiz initiative, launched this week, is aimed at delivering 1Gbit/s services to businesses in and around Jackson, Wyo. Jackson will be the first Gigabiz community in the state, followed by Thayne, Afton and Alpine. Ron McCue, Silver Star Communications president and COO, views his company's efforts as complementary to the state's endeavors to diversify its economy beyond its traditional three sectors -- tourism, agriculture and mining (oil, gas and coal).

"[Wyoming Governor Matt Mead] has been saying that technology and broadband have to be the fourth leg on that chair," McCue tells Light Reading. "There's an educated, well-trained workforce in that area, but underemployment is pretty high."

Already, however, companies like Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT), regional entrepreneurial incubators like Silicon Couloir and organizations like the National Center for Atmospheric Research are targeting the area for its tech potential, he says. And McCue believes gigabit networks like the one Silver Star is turning up only make the region more appealing.

For the latest on this topic, visit Light Reading's dedicated Gigabit Cities content channel. And watch for forthcoming details on Light Reading's Gigabit Cities Live event, to be held in May 2015 in Atlanta.

It's already proving a draw for existing businesses in the region. In the first week of the Gigabiz initiative, Silver Star has connected the Bank of Jackson Hole, Jackson Hole Mountain Resort and St. John's Medical Center to the gigabit network, McCue says.

"Early results are that they are pretty astounded by the difference," he says. The carrier will make gigabit services available to residents as demand dictates, McCue says, and he does expect a handful of "super-users" in the region to sign up for the ultra-high-speed connections. The carrier's Idaho territory is the next target for the Gigabiz initiative, he says.

Silver Star deployed Calix Inc. (NYSE: CALX)'s 844G GigaCenter, E7-2 and E7-20 Ethernet Services Access Platforms (ESAPs) and 700GE optical network terminals (ONTs) for the Gigabiz initiative -- becoming the 50th Calix-enabled gigabit network, according to the vendor. Calix's GigaCenter infrastructure also includes 802.11ac "wave 2" WiFi gateways at the customer premises.

— Jason Meyers, Senior Editor, Gigabit Cities/IoT, Light Reading

About the Author(s)

Jason Meyers

Executive Editor

Jason Meyers joined the editorial staff of Light Reading in 2014 with more than 20 years of experience covering a broad range of business sectors. He is responsible for tracking and reporting on developments in the Internet of Things (IoT), Gigabit Cities and utility communications areas. He previously was Executive Editor of Entrepreneur magazine, overseeing all editorial operations, assignments and editorial staff for the monthly business publication. Prior to that, Meyers spent 15 years on the editorial staff of the former Telephony magazine, including eight years as Editor in Chief.

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