internet

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If you work in Wyoming, chances are you’re in energy, agriculture, or tourism. For decades those three industries have been the backbone of Wyoming’s economy. But more recently Governor Mead’s administration has been working to add a new industry to that list: tech. A big part of that effort is the state’s multimillion-dollar project to upgrade Internet infrastructure.

An effort to enhance Wyoming’s broadband effort and bring higher speed internet access to the state is moving forward.  The Governor’s office announced that Advanced Communications Technology and CenturyLink have been awarded contacts to build out what is being called the Unified Network.    

Mead said he’s excited about the opportunities it will open up for Wyoming.

Several remote communities in the state will be able to receive better internet service in the near future.  Visionary Communications has announced a plan to expand its fiber optic line to connect the towns of Chugwater, Guernsey, Pinedale and Torrington to the rest of the state. 

Senator Mike Enzi is part of an effort to allow states to collect sales taxes from out of state on-line merchants.  The Wyoming Administrator of the Excise Tax Division Dan Noble says the state supports this.  Noble says some companies voluntarily collect the tax, but many do not.

“But there are a lot of vendors that do not have a physical presence in the state that are not collecting our tax and I think one of the biggest ones is Amazon.”

He says changing that would put Wyoming merchants on a level playing field with out of state businesses. 

Governor Matt Mead says the future is bright for technology in Wyoming. At the first Wyoming Broadband Summit in Cheyenne today, Mead highlighted recent progress in improving Internet access across the state. In 2011, access to high speed downloads grew from 54-percent to 85-percent of the population, according to the National Telecommunications and Information Administration and Federal Communications Commission.