On Friday, June 17, Mountain West Technologies finished their first connection of fiber-optic internet to a residence in Evansville. Fiber-optic, or fiber as it is commonly referred to, is well-known as the best internet technology that is currently available.
Thanks to a locally owned and operated internet provider, fiber-to-home is now officially in the central Wyoming area.
“As far as I know, I don’t know that anybody in Casper has fiber to their residence. These homes in Evansville have got to be some of the first in town to actually have fiber-to-home turned on for them in the Casper area,” said Kyle Ridgeway, Vice President of Mountain West Technologies.
And this is only the beginning. Before moving into the residential space, Mountain West has previously provided fiber to various local businesses and entities. This includes municipalities, such as fire stations and police stations, in the Casper area and other towns in Wyoming.
“We partnered with municipalities, where we’ve gotten them on fiber with the understanding that we would expand that into the communities itself. This is the first step into taking it to that next level, which is adding customers in residential areas where you can get service in your house in a way that we’ve never gotten it before,” says Ridgeway.
Sabrina Kemper, Community Development Director in Mills, expressed her excitement to have more reliability with the fiber connection. She mentioned that since their city hall is currently only run by Wi-Fi, they frequently lose internet access during Wyoming’s storms. Once they put the fiber in for the city hall, residents will also be able to get access.
“We’re happy to have the fiber but we’re also happy to help a Wyoming company expand their services by being able to move into residential areas,” she shared.
Fiber internet is the future of internet connection. Wyoming presents a unique opportunity for Mountain West, as it is actually one of the worst states in terms of internet affordability and connectivity.
According to BroadbandNow, Wyoming has some of the slowest internet speeds, ranking 47 out of 50 for worst internet coverage and price access.
Ridgeway said, “We all learned over the last two years how important it is to have reliable internet service in your house for any reason. Whether you’ve got kids, whether you work from home. We’ve got a lot of people who are moving in from out of state but are still working remotely. They’ve got to have a good internet connection to do that.”
Mountain West answered the call for better rural internet in Central Wyoming at the end of 2020. They built 16 new towers in Natrona County and upgraded most of their network to be able to provide reliable high-speed internet over wireless at a time when it was very much needed.
Already a leader in rural wireless internet, Mountain West is now shifting their focus to fiber-optics solutions within city limits starting with the towns of Evansville and Mills.
Fiber-optic’s potential appears to be limitless. Using fiber technology, Japan’s National Institute of Information and Communications Technology set a new world record last year for fastest internet speed at 319 terabytes per second. At that speed, you’d be able to download almost 80,000 movies in one second.
Matt Kadlick, Director of Sales and Marketing says, “It’s going to be the most solid internet any of these people have experienced. This really is the future of connectivity. The industry really doesn’t believe that there’s going to be anything else that will be faster than this.”
Mountain West Technologies strives to offer affordable options to Wyoming residents, with options starting at $50 per month. Along with their low prices, Mountain West is unique in that they are locally owned and operated, and this innovative technology really appealed to their passion for supporting communities across Wyoming. They’ve spent the last two years working to bring fiber to Wyoming, specifically to smaller areas where it’s more rural and in need of better connection.
“We pivoted to fiber in these areas because these communities are starving for it,’ says Kadlick.
Thankfully, because they are a local company, Mountain West Technologies’ teams are able to focus on quality more than speed like larger corporations that have staff from out of state. All of Mountain West’s work is done locally, by their own employees with their own equipment.
Right now, Mountain West Technologies is working to bring fiber internet to the inner part of Evansville and Mills and they are currently working on running conduit in the ground before the houses go up in a whole new neighborhood in Mills.
Kadlick said, “There’s two phases to it really. There’s the phase that they’re working on currently, which is putting the infrastructure in the ground in the alleys. This takes a crew of 4-5 people depending on what they’re doing that day. Once they get to the second phase where they are connecting to the house, it’s only going to take a couple of guys.”
It’s a relatively fast process for new construction areas, however, it is also an option for neighborhoods and houses that have been established for many years. In fact, these communities have even expressed to the team at Mountain West just how much they need better online connectivity.
“These homes need it. We hear everyday from people in the middle of town that have terrible internet service from other providers,” Kadlick shared.
While the implementation of fiber is going strong in Evansville and Mills, Mountain West also plans to start helping those in Casper and other parts of central Wyoming get fiber connected to their homes. They believe that the future is fiber, and that homes across the state need it now more than ever.
“The first customer that we signed up in Evansville was doing speed testing, they would get 900 down by 700 up, which is incredible for things like gaming, augmented reality, virtual reality, video conferencing, etc. That’s kind of what you need in a modern economy. You’ve got to have access to that kind of speed,” Ridgeway says.
He also added, “For Wyoming to grow and for us to diversify our economy, we’ve got to have this available for these businesses that are coming.”
Mountain West Technologies has around 50 employees total, between Casper, Cheyenne, Chugwater, and Saratoga. The company is based in downtown Casper. As part of the 307 First family, they are committed to their mission: which is keeping Wyoming companies in Wyoming. As a local service provider, they strive to offer internet options and servicing to the Cowboy State that includes high levels of bandwidth, reliability, and an affordable price.
“99% of what people will tell you is that it’s the best internet in town, it’s the best customer service you can find. If something goes wrong, one of your neighbors is jumping to it to get it done. No matter what time of day it is, no matter what day of the week, they’re fixing it,” Kadlick says.
If you live in the towns of Evansville or Mills and are interested in getting connected by fiber to your home, contact Mountain West Technologies today. Scan the QR code below to request internet at your house or visit their website to get more information.
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