An effort to pass legislation to help smaller communities get high-speed internet is getting pushback from those in the industry. Lobbyists presented a substitute bill presumably intended to keep communities from forming their own internet operations.
Senator Chris Rothfuss says the industry would like a little more say over how the state awards grant funds and they want to make it clear in the law that internet companies should be partners. But Cheyenne Mayor Marion Orr prefers the legislature’s original bill because it would make sure that high-speed internet is available in more locations.
“It’s as important as turning on electricity, it’s as important as turning on a tap and having water, it’s an absolute must if we’re going to grow.”
Orr says she's furious about the effort by the industry to change the bill to suit their desires.
The economic diversity group ENDOW has identified the need to expand high-speed internet across the state so that Wyoming can grow its economic base. A legislative committee will continue working on the bill Tuesday.