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.
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