June 5, 2017
As KWGN explains, the utility began exploring whether to build a broadband system in 2014. Since then, High West has “conducted a rather extensive exploratory process,” which included “conducting a pilot project of some equipment in Pine Bluffs, preparing a business plan with different iterations and conducting due diligence on that business plan, starting last September.” Residents were even given the chance to sign up for a $50 pre-enrollment offer to lock in special rates. The utility will reimburse residents who subscribed to that offer. (It does not appear that the utility revealed publicly how many residents had requested the special rate.)
In a statement, High West officials said, instead of moving into the broadband market, the utility instead is going to focus “on providing safe, reliable and competitively priced electricity, wiring and IT services.”
High West has about 6,500 customers in Wyoming, Nebraska, and Colorado.
According to Broadband Now, more than 85 percent of Laramie County residents have access to broadband service with speeds of more than 100 mbps. The website also says Cheyenne, the county seat of Laramie, “is a fairly competitive market when it comes to broadband coverage in the” United States. Broadband Now notes that “CenturyLink, Charter Spectrum, and Wyoming.com all offer wired internet service to large areas of the city” and that Cheyenne consumers also “have multiple fixed wireless options that may be a viable alternative depending on where” they live. Indeed, nine in 10 residents can choose between two options for 100 mbps service. There are six wireline providers in all.
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