Silver Star Begins the Placing of Fiber-Optic Cable
The Teton Broadband Project has kicked off in its construction of a new fiber-optic cable, slated to significantly enhance broadband service in Jackson, Wyoming, adding speed, capacity and reliability to local services. Silver Star Communications received two grants to expand the broadband infrastructure for Internet access from the National Telecommunications and Information Administration’s (NTIA) Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP). The first phase of The Teton Broadband Project, consisting of the two awarded grants over Togwotee and Teton Passes, presents the opportunity to provide fiber connections to emergency services, Town and County facilities, hospitals, libraries, schools, and other “community anchor” organizations.
“This once in a lifetime opportunity to connect Jackson to the rest of Wyoming’s fiber optic network will increase the capacity, reliability and speed with which we communicate,” said Ron McCue, COO of Silver Star Communications. McCue added, “Jackson is the missing link, literally, to creating a redundant fiber ring throughout the state, and we’ve been searching for viable ways to close this gap in the fiber network for many years.”
Two contractors were selected and finalized just last week. The Togwotee Pass part of the Project was awarded to Track Utilities (Meridian, Idaho) and began last week, and the contractor chosen for the Teton Pass project, Tetra Tech (Denver, Colorado), plans to begin construction this week. They will continue the connection from Jackson to Wilson and over Teton Pass. These larger contractor firms will likely hire local contractors for sub-contract work, creating more opportunities for local jobs.
Construction is now underway in East Jackson and will continue through the spring and summer, with very limited impact on local traffic. Silver Star has consulted with the U.S. Forest Service (USFS), National Park Service (NPS), U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), Teton County, the Town of Jackson and others to create the most convenient, practical and environmentally sensitive construction route and method. Construction for the “core area” in town will cease for the June-September tourist season, and actual construction activities for a given area will last only a matter of a few days. The Teton Broadband Project is anticipated to be completed by October 2012 or before.
For more information and updates on construction progress, visit www.silverstar.com/tetonbroadband.