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First Annual Wyoming Broadband Summit in Cheyenne

Gov. Matt Mead at Wyoming Broadband Summit (Amy Richards/TSM)

The First Annual Wyoming Broadband Summit was held in Cheyenne Tuesday.  One of the goals of the summit was to bring together private telecommunications companies and Wyoming state officials seeking to extend high-speed Internet to the parts of the state that don’t have broadband. Governor Matt Mead, during his keynote speech, said  Wyoming’s a pretty attractive place for somebody who wants to start a business here, but in order to do that, you have to have that connectivity.Tuesday’s summit brought together state officials, companies such as CenturyLink and Optimum, and health care, education, local government, businesses and others who want wider broadband access in Wyoming.

Troy Babbitt, the state’s broadband enterprise architect, said the public and private effort is lighting up additional new broadband connections every year. Babbitt is the person in charge of information gathering, negotiations and promotions. Babbitt said the state’s LinkWYOMING project seeks to map out Wyoming’s broadband gaps and set up regional teams to develop local strategies and broadband plans for their regions.

Babbitt works closely with broadband providers. A key part of his job is talking up broadband’s potential around the state, describing what high-speed Internet could mean for local businesses, which might then demand providers build out their net. Babbitt says one of the challenges for smaller communities will be the cost.  He says communities  will have to make a “business case” for broadband connectivity.

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