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Fiber Optic Line Installation Approved

MORAN, Wyo., September 6, 2018 – The Blackrock Ranger District of the Bridger-Teton National Forest has decided to authorize a Fiber Optic Line that will be installed along the length of the Buffalo Valley Road resulting in high speed internet for the entire community in northern Teton County, Wyoming.

Public comment was taken throughout the winter of 2017 – 2018 the Forest received more than 30 emails and letters of support for the project. Installation is expected to begin later this month by Silver Star Communications.

In 2014 the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) mandated that rural broadband speeds be increased to 10megabits per second (Mbs).Areas with broadband in the Buffalo Valley, located approximately 8-miles east of Moran, WY, do not exceed 4Mbs. Silver Star Communications applied for and received a United States Department of Agriculture Program 101 Community Connect Grant to take fiber optic service to residences and businesses of Buffalo Valley. The project will provide fast, reliable broadband services at 10Mbs so community and businesses can participate in current forms of communication, which is often times necessary for school, business, and emergency services.

Approximately 143 households, 44 businesses, a public school, emergency services, and WYOLINK would be directly or indirectly benefitted by the project.

The project would include placement of approximately 5.7miles of buried and 3.14 miles of aerial fiber optic cable by Silver Star Communications on National Forest System Lands.

 The preferred placement would be to bury1 ¼ inch conduit for the fiber optic cable using special equipment called a cable plow. Burial would take place as close as possible to existing roadways without affecting asphalt surfaces. Aerial fiber would be placed on existing Lower Valley Energy Cooperative (LVE) utility poles at a minimum distance of 40”from existing power lines. Aerial fiber would be used to cross the Buffalo Fork of the Snake River and areas of aquatic resources and potential environmentally sensitive areas to provide the maximum amount of connection opportunities to the community with the least amount of ground disturbance. Up to fifteen buried 24”x36”enclosures/communication boxes, called hand holds, would also be installed along the utility corridor during this project.”

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