Union expands fiber-optic broadband in Sublette, Sweetwater, and Lincoln counties
June 25, 2019
Union Telephone Company, now known as Union, is launching a fiber-fed broadband project that will connect La Barge, Marbleton, Big Piney, Pinedale, Farson, and Eden to its regional 100GB fiber network.
Construction on the project starts on June 27 at the groundbreaking ceremony being held at 9 a.m. near the Burger Barn in Pinedale. Union will be constructing fiber lines underground through Sublette, Sweetwater, and Lincoln counties to connect LaBarge, Marbleton, Big Piney, Pinedale, Farson, and Eden to the network. When each community is connected to the regional fiber network, Union will then begin connecting the residences and businesses in the community to its fiber-fed broadband internet service.
"The bandwidth of optical fiber is unbelievable," says Brian Woody, Chief Customer Relations Officer for Union. "Once the network is in place, it will greatly benefit connected communities in terms of economic development, across a broad range of health care services, and will provide improved access to educational opportunities."
Additionally, Union along with local officials will be holding a public presentation of Union's proposed build-out plan on June 26 from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Lovatt Room in the Sublette County Library, located in Pinedale. Representatives from Union and elected officials will be available to answer questions throughout the event with formal remarks provided by elected officials at 6 p.m. Anyone wanting more information is welcome to attend.
Pinedale Mayor Matt Murdock said, "Since 2014, high-speed, high-capacity and redundant optical fiber has been a critical infrastructure priority that the three towns and Sublette County have actively pursued together. Fiber is a tangible asset whose full potential has not yet been defined and which opens a new horizon to be explored by Pinedale’s community to diversify and amplify our regional economy. We look forward to welcoming new residents and new businesses that can move into our community, able to enjoy our exceptional locality while remaining connected and active within the wider world. Union continues to demonstrate its commitment to Wyoming communities, and we are grateful that they will be providing such an excellent service throughout Sublette County and count on a long and fruitful relationship."
Sublette County Commissioner David Burnett said, "The Sublette County Board of Commissioners have been working diligently in cooperation with the municipalities of Pinedale, Big Piney, and Marbleton over the last two years to develop a project that would provide fiber and increased broadband services in Sublette County. Collectively we see the benefits that broadband would give to our county including, but not limited to, enhancement of economic development, opportunities in healthcare and telemedicine, as well as improvements to the quality of life for our citizens. We are grateful for Union’s project to expand fiber optic broadband in Sublette County. We look forward to working with them and growing our relationship."
Woody added, "Every resident, business, and government agency in this region stands to benefit from the addition of Union’s fiber-fed service to their community. By delivering broadband internet service to these rural Wyoming communities, we are improving these already great places to live and work and contributing directly to the development of the local entrepreneurship ecosystem."
"As the person assigned by the state to see broadband grow here in Wyoming, I couldn’t be more excited for this much needed infrastructure project that will benefit much of rural Sublette, Sweetwater and Lincoln counties, some of the states more rural and bandwidth challenged areas," said Russ Elliot, the State Broadband Manager for the Wyoming Business Council.
He added, "What is most exciting about this build is that it will provide residents of that region, affordable, reliable, redundant and future proof technologies that will last for decades. This not just a catch up project, this is a leap forward project that is setting a standard for others to emulate. Thank you Union for stepping up."
Union, started in 1914 as Union Telephone Company, has grown from a small-town local landline provider to a fast-growing regional wireless provider. Since 2012, Union has invested $30 million dollars in building 600 miles regional fiber network to provide high-speed internet service to underserved rural communities throughout Wyoming. This family owned and operated Wyoming-based telecommunications provider serves Wyoming, Northwestern Colorado, and parts of Utah and Montana with a vast regional wireless voice and high-speed data network connected to a national network of roaming partners.
"Our investment in fiber-optic broadband reflects Union’s continued commitment to improve service to underserved rural communities. It is a legacy that my grandfather John D. Woody started when he formed the company over a hundred years ago to help neighbors stay connected across Wyoming’s vast terrain," Woody said.
"Union continues to build projects that benefit Wyoming," said Cindy DeLancey, president of the Wyoming Business Alliance. "Having additional fiber optic capacity opens more doors for business in rural areas which continues to help power Wyoming’s economy."
Woody explained that fiber has many advantages over other internet delivery systems.
"Fiber, the size of single human hair, can carry far more data at much greater speeds – literally at the speed of light. And, delivering broadband to a community over a fiber provides multi-path redundancy that lowers the risk of a large-scale outage. Further, fiber service lines are buried underground, making disruptions from bad weather far less likely than other types of broadband internet service. Bottom-line, Union provides its customers with the bandwidth they need and the consistency of service they can depend on."