One of the communities that have made the shortlist for the most recent West expansion of fiber optic internet is the small town of Lusk in the eastern part of Wyoming.
Visionary Broadband, based in Gillette, has pledged $100 million to expand high-speed internet in 20 communities throughout Wyoming, Colorado, and Montana.
According to Stacie McDonald, vice president of public relations at Broadband Visionary, “(Lusk) has wanted to move forward.” They always focus on economic growth and the amenities their people would most like to have.
According to McDonald, the first phase of the Lusk project is almost finished. However, to complete the expansion of Visionary’s fiber optic network. Most places will have more grades, including Lusk, Dayton, Manchester, Yoder, LaGrange, and others.
According to McDonald, the expansion project is already underway, with go-live dates scheduled for early 2023, In Casper, Cheyenne, Gillette, and Lusk.
The company will compete against Bluepeak, which recently announced fiber optic internet expansions in Cheyenne and Casper.
According to McDonald, Visionary will install lines in some areas where Bluepeak is not yet concentrating, which may provide customers with options for higher speed service sooner.
She predicted there would be some overlap, after which the public would have a choice. Unafraid of competition is the visionary. Every community gains more from the competition. All work is more challenging as a result.
“If a community only has one provider, no additional upgrades are necessary. They are the only players in town. Therefore, while that would be nice for the provider, it doesn’t offer any ongoing improvements to customer service, development, or technology.
While acknowledging that Bluepeak’s prices are likely to be higher than Visionary’s, McDonald said that Visionary charges for its high-speed internet options are fair and would be competitive with those of other providers.
As she predicted, we will be a little higher than Bluepeak in terms of our gig-by-gig rate. However, they’re missing out on locals in their neighborhood. When you contact our tech support or customer service, you speak with locals who use the same internet as you, who are familiar with the local climate, how far it is to go to the Apple Store with your phone, and other relevant information. People value having a local provider as a real benefit.
Growth Has Already Started
According to McDonald, the Connect Wyoming Program run by the Wyoming Business Council gave some of the communities’ Visionary Broadband expanding a jumpstart. Still, the $100 million investment from Visionary Broadband is a brand-new one that will build on that foundation.
McDonald stated, “we will have additional phases and continue building our network.”
Three technologically savvy friends who were primarily interested in having internet access for themselves founded Visionary Broadband in the basement of a blue house in Gillette nearly 30 years ago. But in doing so, they opened the door to providing the service to others, including a nearby school district.
The three found themselves suddenly in charge of a company without a business plan that was overgrowing and has since expanded.
Since the beginning of the company, we have constantly been growing, McDonald said. The topic of fiber has received a lot of attention, but Visionary has been increasing using T1 lines, DSL, point-to-point wireless, and fiber. You must constantly keep up with technological advancements in the technology sector, and thinking about what matters to customers while operating in the remote West is just another layer on top of that.
Challenges in Remote Areas
Due to unfavorable economic conditions, remote areas have had a more challenging time attracting options for high-speed Internet service. Fewer people live in each square mile, making using expensive fiber for high-speed internet less cost-effective.
However, the COVID-19 pandemic highlighted how crucial it is for everyone to access high-quality internet options. Regardless of where they live and prompt several federal programs encourage investment in rural areas where satellite internet, like Starlink, has previously been the only option.
While Starlink has established itself as a reasonably dependable service, many rural areas need more high-speed fiber internet as subscriber counts have increased. The company also encountered difficulties maintaining the speed and quality of its usefulness in some parts of the United States.
For residential Starlink users, this resulted in 1 TB of data can only be used during peak hours each month; after that, users must pay an additional fee for each additional GB of use if they want to maintain priority access. Additionally, StarLink reduced its stated speed. On the other hand, the Priority Access tier is ineligible for the Starling RV and Starling Best Effort plans.
The modifications were made and made public as part of Starlink’s Fair Use Policy in North America.
The fair use policy states, “Starlink is a limited resource that will keep growing as we launch more satellites.” “We must manage the network to keep the supply of Starlink in line with user demand so we can provide high-speed internet to the most people.”