Wyoming telco gets $9.6M from U.S. for broadband

By: 
Via the Wyoming News Exchange

CHEYENNE (WNE) —  The federal government announced Thursday it is giving several million dollars to a Wyoming telecommunications provider so it can add fiber lines capable of delivering super-fast broadband.

Cody-based Tri County Telephone Association Inc. is set to receive $9.6 million from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's "ReConnect" program, according to data from USDA. This is part of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announcing the department is awarding $502 million in loans and grants for fast internet access to "rural residents and businesses in 20 states."

“High-speed internet will improve the rural economy. It will help rural businesses grow and get access to new markets," Vilsack said in a news release.

The $9.6 million "will be used to deploy a fiber-to-the-premises network" to connect 204 people, 15 businesses and 19 farms to high-speed internet service in Big Horn, Hot Springs, Park, Sheridan and Washakie counties, USDA reported. 

The privately held recipient is Tri County Telephone Association. It goes by the name TCT and currently has almost 13,000 customers in northern Wyoming and southern Montana, according to its CEO, Richard Wardell.

Over a period of as long as five years, TCT will lay the fiber lines necessary for the broadband service.

The locations are "all rural areas of farms and ranches and along county roads, often, or state" roads, Wardell said. "Most of those areas today TCT serves with copper." 

Copper broadband service is much slower than other ways of delivering data.

Once deployed, the TCT internet service will be up to 10 Gbps fast for both downloads and uploads of content and data from online.

 

This story was published on Sept. 22, 2022.

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