By Amy Quick

July 20, 2021


WBC Board Adopts Broadband Rules, Opens Public Comment Period

The Wyoming Business Council (WBC) Board of Directors held a public meeting on July 12, 2021, to take several actions relating to rules for the Broadband Development Grant Program. These actions come following changes to the program under Senate File 76 (SEA 65) from the 2021 legislative session.

 

"These rules establish a framework for the Business Council to use state and federal funding for broadband in a more efficient and effective manner," said CEO Josh Dorrell. "We worked closely with the Broadband Advisory Council and the legislature to incorporate lessons learned since the inception of the program and last year's successes with the CARES funding, and we are really excited for what these rules do for broadband in Wyoming."

 

In addition to adopting amendments to existing Chapter 1 rules which added new definitions and a challenge process, the Board adopted rules for the new Middle Mile program under Chapter 2. Both chapters are now in the final rulemaking process.


"Middle Mile is foundational to future broadband efforts," explained WBC Broadband Manager Ryan Kudera. "Without this essential infrastructure, it would be like having paved streets and gravel highways."


The Board also took two actions relating to a third chapter of rules covering confidential provider information, both adopting Chapter 3 as emergency rules to satisfy a legislative deadline of September 1, 2021, and approving this chapter for regular rulemaking. 

 

Program rules are available to view at the Wyoming Secretary of State’s Administrative Rules portal under “Proposed Rules>Business Council.” 


Anyone wishing to submit public comments on the proposed Chapter 3 rulemaking may do so at this link or by clicking the “Provide Public Comment” link on the Wyoming Administrative Rules portal above. Comments will be accepted through August 30, 2021.

 

GUIDING PRINCIPLES OF THE BROADBAND DEVELOPMENT GRANT PROGRAM

  • Address the need for reliable and affordable internet for all citizens.
  • Provide reliable and redundant internet infrastructure that enables businesses
    to compete and serve their customers.
  • Ensure a fair and competitive environment for all providers without excessive
    government oversight.
  • Establish a framework of collaboration and cooperation among stakeholders
    and public entities.
  • Provide opportunities for both individual investment and financial support
    when appropriate.
  • Secure anchor tenants and promote private investment to supplement available
    public funds.
  • Promote private investment and identify opportunities for expansion of
    broadband services.
  • Pursue opportunities for additional local, tribal, state and federal resources.
 
For more information about the State of Wyoming's broadband programs and services, contact WBC Broadband Manager Ryan Kudera at ryan.kudera@wyo.gov.
 
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