Gigabit Cities

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

COMMENTS Add Comment
DHagar 11/20/2014 | 12:47:48 PM
Re: Gigabit Economy in Wyoming jabailo, I think you are right.  I am working with economic development with several cities and a good city appears to have multi-industry portfolios.  But they are all becoming aware and have a high priority on "Gigabit Economy" value - almost as a backbone utility.  In addition, some cities are taking it further, ie Smart Cities, and building a technology/data ecosystem to attract and sustain new businesses.
jabailo 11/20/2014 | 12:26:02 PM
Re: A Gigabit Economy in Wyoming What makes a good city today?   Once it was having an ice free port or being near a river.  Then on a train line.  Today, perhaps it's being centrally located near a main Internet hub with lots of Gig lines for citizens to use!


DHagar 11/19/2014 | 8:42:37 PM
Re: A Gigabit Economy in Wyoming Jason, sounds like a smart strategy.  I believe those communities that develop the infrastructure and focus on a digital (Gigabit) economy will take the lead in attracting business and capital to the ecosystems they develop. 

I see this as following the pathway of the development of the western frontier with the railroads and then the roads - those who develop the infrastructure are at the forefront of development and have an edge.
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