Wyoming Town Creates Broadband Bonanza

How does a town of 5000 people in a sparsely populated region get its own fiber-to-household broadband system — WITHOUT relying on federal funding? Powell, Wyoming, is one of the great broadband success stories of the decade.

By Craig Settles

Powell, Wyoming, at first glance may appear to be the typical rural community that large and even some small broadband service providers avoid. The town has just over 5,000 residents in a county with a population density of four people per square mile. The last place for a fiber network, right? Wrong! Powell’s community-owned network, Powellink, is one of the great success stories in broadband.

Powell’s network broke even in 18 months and has operated profitably ever since. Two service providers, including the town’s partner, Tri-County Telecom, compete for subscribers of data, voice and video services. And most stunningly, this $5 million project put no taxpayer dollars at risk.

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About Mark Milliman

Mark Milliman is a Principal Consultant at Inphotonics Research driving the adoption and assisting local governments to plan, build, operate, and lease access open-access municipal broadband networks. Additionally, he works with entrepreneurs and venture capitalists to increase the value of their intellectual capital through the creation of strategic product plans and execution of innovative marketing strategies. With more than 22 years of experience in the telecommunications industry that began at AT&T Bell Laboratories, Mark has built fiber, cable, and wireless networks around the world to deliver voice, video, and data services. His thorough knowledge of all aspects of service delivery from content creation to the design, operation, and management of the network is utilized by carriers and equipment manufacturers. Mark conceived and developed one of the industry's first multi-service provisioning platform and is multiple patent holder. He is active in the IEEE as a senior member. Mark received his B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Iowa State University and M.S. in Electrical Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University.
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