Mountain West Technologies connects homes and businesses through fiber optic technology

On Friday, June 17, Mountain West Technologies completed its first fiber optic connection to a residence in Evansville. Optical fiber, or fiber as it is commonly called, is well known as the best internet technology currently available.

Thanks to a locally owned and operated ISP, fiber to the home is now official in central Wyoming.

“To the best of my knowledge, I don’t know of anyone in Casper who has fiber to their home. These Evansville homes should be some of the first in the city to actually have fiber to the home included in the Casper area,” said Kyle Ridgway, vice president of Mountain West Technologies.

And that’s just the beginning. Before moving into the residential space, Mountain West previously provided fiber to various local businesses and organizations. This includes municipalities, such as fire and police departments, in the Casper area and other towns in Wyoming.

“We’ve partnered with municipalities where we’ve supplied them with fiber optic cables with the understanding that we’re going to extend that into the communities themselves. It’s the first step to that next level, which is adding customers in residential areas where you can get service in your home in a way that we’ve never gotten it before,” Ridgway says.

Sabrina Kemper, director of community development at Mills, expressed her excitement to have more reliability with the fiber optic connection. She mentioned that since their town hall is currently Wi-Fi only, they often lose internet access during Wyoming storms. Once they put in the fiber to the town 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 its service by being able to move into residential areas,” she shared.

Photo by Matt Kadlick

Optical Internet is the future of Internet connection. Wyoming presents a unique opportunity for the Mountain West, as it is actually one of the worst states for internet accessibility and connectivity.

According to BroadbandNow, Wyoming has some of the lowest internet speeds, ranking 47 out of 50 for worst internet coverage and access cost.

Ridgway said: “We’ve all learned over the past two years how important it is to have reliable internet service in your home for whatever reason. Whether you have kids, whether you work from home. We have a lot of people who move out of state but still work remotely. They must have a good internet connection to do this.

Mountain West answered the call for better internet in rural Central Wyoming in late 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 a relationship at a time when it was much needed.

Already a leader in rural wireless Internet, the Mountain West is now shifting its focus to fiber optic solutions within city limits, starting with the cities of Evansville and Mills.

The potential of fiber optics seems limitless. Using optical technology, Japan’s National Institute of Information and Communications Technology set a new world record last year for the fastest Internet speed of 319 terabytes per second. At that speed, you could download almost 80,000 movies in one second.

Matt Kadlick, director of sales and marketing, says: “This will be the most robust internet these people have ever encountered. This really is the future of connectivity. The industry really doesn’t believe there’s going to be anything else that’s faster than that.”

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 Wyoming communities. They’ve spent the last two years working to bring fiber to Wyoming, specifically the smaller areas where it’s more rural and needs a better connection.

“We targeted fiber in these areas because these communities are starving for it,” Kadlik says.

Fortunately, 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 other countries. All Mountain West work is done locally, by their employees with their own equipment.

Mountain West Technologies is currently working to bring fiber internet to the interior of Evansville and Mills, and they are currently working on putting conduit in the ground before homes go up in a whole new neighborhood in Mills.

Kadlik said, “There are really two phases. There’s the phase they’re working on right now, which is putting the infrastructure in the ground along the lanes. This takes a team of 4-5 people depending on what they are doing that day. Once they get to the second phase where they connect to the house, it will only take a few guys.

This is a relatively quick process for new construction areas, but is also an option for neighborhoods and houses that have been established for many years. In fact, these communities have even expressed to the Mountain West team how much they need better online connectivity.

“These homes need it. “Every day we hear from people downtown who have terrible internet service from other providers,” Kadlik shared.

Photo by Matt Kadlick

While fiber deployments are going strong in Evansville and Mills, Mountain West also plans to begin helping those in Casper and other parts of central Wyoming connect fiber to their homes. They believe the future is fiber and that homes across the state need it now more than ever.

“The first customer we signed up in Evansville was doing speed tests, they would get 900 down with 700 up, which is amazing for things like gaming, augmented reality, virtual reality, video conferencing, etc. This is what you need in a modern economy. You have to have access to that type of speed,” Ridgway says.

He also added, “For Wyoming to grow and for us to diversify our economy, we need to have this available for these businesses that are coming in.”

Mountain West Technologies has a total of about 50 employees 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: to keep Wyoming companies in Wyoming. As a local service provider, they strive to offer the Cowboy State Internet options and service that includes high levels of bandwidth, reliability and affordability.

“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 jumps in to fix it. No matter what time of day it is, no matter what day of the week, they fix it,” Kadlik says.

If you live in the cities of Evansville or Mills and are interested in fiber optic connection to your home, contact Mountain West Technologies today. Scan the QR code below to request internet at home or visit their website to get more information.

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