WBC asking all broadband providers to share mapping information

The Wyoming Business Council launched the Connect Wyoming program on Nov. 15, which will remain open to applications until Monday, Jan. 3. In a release, the WBC stated that in order to understand the current status of broadband throughout the state, they are requesting every broadband provider upload their mapping data to the Wyoming Broadband Program, even if they have no intention of applying for Connect Wyoming.

“It is essential to have comprehensive data on where broadband connections exist throughout Wyoming so we can help fill the gaps,” WBC Broadband Manager Ryan Kudera said.

Concurrent with the Connect Wyoming launch, the WBC partnered with the Wyoming Geographic Information Science Center (WyGISC) to expand functionality of the Wyoming Broadband Map which allows broadband providers to upload detailed speed and coverage area maps.

“This effort is fundamental to providing the Business Council, the Broadband Advisory Council, and the Wyoming Legislature’s Broadband Task Force with a clear picture of broadband availability and speeds in Wyoming,” Kudera said. “It also will help identify areas eligible for state and federal broadband funds while protecting existing providers from overbuild.”

To help providers successfully upload their mapping information, the WBC is hosting an informational webinar at 10 a.m., Friday, Dec. 3. The webinar will include a review of the WBC’s mapping efforts, a demonstration of the provider mapping portal, and a Q&A session. This webinar is geared toward broadband providers but is open to the public and will be recorded for future viewing. 

Registration is required and can be completed here

Rulemaking

The WBC also recently completed rulemaking for two chapters of rules within the Broadband Development Grant Program. The Chapter 3 rules establish definitions and procedures for the handling of confidential or proprietary information submitted by broadband providers. This chapter bolsters the protections of the Wyoming Public Records Act and responds to industry concerns regarding sensitive data and the WBC’s ramped-up broadband mapping efforts.

According to the release, the rules in Chapter 4 establish the framework for the Connect Wyoming program which aims to leverage federal funding to develop broadband in unserved and underserved areas. Learn more about the program, including a link to the final rules, here

How fast is your Internet?

The Wyoming Broadband Program is working to identify areas across the state that need better access to high-speed internet (broadband). The WBC oversees this program and is asking every resident and business to provide input by taking a speed test and filling out a survey that can be found at www.wyobbmap.org.

“It’s not unusual for a citizen or a business owner to think they are getting a specific internet speed to learn that is not quite the case,” Kudera said. “But there can be multiple reasons why speeds are slower than expected. That’s why it’s so important for everyone to not only take the speedtest but to also fill out the simple survey.”

According to the WBC, public input will help improve the accuracy and understanding of current broadband coverage in Wyoming. That knowledge will help leaders make more informed decisions about where investments should be made in broadband programs and infrastructure.

“We want everyone in Wyoming to have the reliable broadband he or she needs to access the resources that will help improve their lives,” Business Council CEO Josh Dorrell said. “Having affordable, high-speed internet in our homes and businesses can provide access to the services our citizens need, and strengthen our education, health care, and tourism sectors. We have a heritage in Wyoming of tackling difficult situations and thriving – we can do the same by working together to ensure we expand broadband to all Wyomingites.”

In addition, the Wyoming Broadband Program is collecting data and input from parents with K-12 students through a school connectivity survey which is also available on the website. Parents can, and are encouraged, to provide input on both the school connectivity survey and the speed test and survey at www.wyobbmap.org.



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