Commissioner O'Rielly Raises Overbuilding Concerns with Wyoming Governor
Several of Wyoming’s local fiber and cable-based broadband providers recently brought to my attention legitimate concerns that their high-speed broadband networks are likely to be overbuilt by competitors receiving CARES Act grants being distributed through the Wyoming Business Council’s (WBC) Connect Wyoming program. I have spent a good portion of my career at the FCC fighting against the wasteful subsidization of network builds where competitors are already providing service, which siphons funding away from projects that could otherwise help reach unserved areas and threatens the viability of existing providers’ private investments. I was, therefore, quite concerned to learn that Wyoming may be using scarce federal CARES Act dollars in this very manner and funding the duplication of broadband networks in communities where providers are already offering service. This type of inefficient spending is especially problematic when there are millions of Americans, and tens of thousands of citizens in your state alone, that do not have access to any broadband at all. As co-chair of the WBC, I believe you may be in the best position to respond to and address concerns regarding this matter. I respectfully request that the WBC immediately release coverage maps for awarded projects, enable existing providers to challenge any duplicative projects, and halt any funding for projects that will result in subsidized overbuilding.
O'Rielly Letter to Gov. Gordon re: Connect WY Overbuilding Concerns