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Work Starting on the Unified Network’s Backbone

posted Apr 22, 2015, 7:49 AM by vfe_ets_veronica.harris@wyo.gov   [ updated Apr 22, 2015, 7:49 AM ]
5/5/2014

OFFICE OF GOVERNOR MATT MEAD
State Capitol
Cheyenne, WY 82002
Ph. (307) 777-7437

May 5, 2014

******FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE******

Contact:
Renny MacKay
Communications Director
renny.mackay@wyo.gov

CHEYENNE, Wyo. – Private companies are starting to build out the Unified Network. This network is an initiative of Governor Matt Mead’s to further enhance the broadband network for the State of Wyoming and bring higher speed internet access to Wyoming. CenturyLink and Advanced Communications Technology (ACT) were awarded contracts to build this part of the Unified Network.

“This is an innovative partnership between public and private entities to provide transforming technology to the people of Wyoming,” Governor Mead said. “The build-out of the 100-gigabit backbone is unmatched in the West. We are talking about unparalleled access, especially in rural areas. I look forward to CenturyLink and ACT starting work.”

The Unified Network will provide 100 gigabits of capacity to the internet compared to 2.5 gigabits now. The access points will be located in eight communities: The network will create more redundancy and reliability. The access points will be anchored at schools or state offices. Separately, the infrastructure being built by the private internet providers will make more advanced products and services available for businesses.

“The Unified Network will allow Wyoming students and teachers to take advantage of online resources from around the world. It will benefit health care in Wyoming through resources such as tele-medicine, which is becoming more common. It will give businesses located here and those looking to move to Wyoming access to technology currently associated more with large population centers through the private providers’ infrastructure,” Governor Mead said. “The expansion of the Network – is an exciting moment for Wyoming.”

CenturyLink will build six portions of the Unified Network. Work should be done by July of 2014.

“CenturyLink has been a long standing partner with the State of Wyoming and like Governor Mead, we believe there is a direct and distinct correlation between advanced technology infrastructure and strong economic growth. Wyoming has served as a leader across the nation by investing in new technology that will not only benefit state government but the broader communities across the state. CenturyLink is proud to be a part of this exciting and forward thinking project,” said Jeremy Ferkin, CenturyLink vice president and general manager for Wyoming and Montana.

ACT, which is based in Sheridan, won two contracts and estimates that it will complete the job by July 1, 2014.

“ACT is proud to be a part of Governor Mead’s investment in Wyoming students through the deployment of the Unified Network. We believe the effort will go a long way towards establishing a solid base for technology as the State’s fourth leading industry alongside energy, tourism and agriculture,” said Aaron Sopko, General Manager of ACT.

During the last three years broadband access for Wyoming students increased over 1000 percent. The Unified Network will expand that increase even further and provide needed reliability and redundancy.

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