On May 31, 2022, the FCC commissioner visited the Vistabeam Internet crew in Evansville, Wyoming, as part of his trip to selected western states. The tour consisted of Montana, South Dakota, and Wyoming, where Senator John Barrasso of Wyoming and Senator John Thune of South Dakota also accompanied the commissioner. Their conversations revolved around public safety communications and expanding rural connectivity throughout these states.
In South Dakota, Commissioner Carr visited a wireless site providing first responders with cutting-edge capabilities and a manufacturing facility that builds equipment essential to advancing American strategic interests both domestically and abroad.
While in Wyoming, he met with first responders and telecom providers and toured tower and construction crews building new, high-speed connections.
Vistabeam was honored to welcome the Commissioner at our Evansville, Wyoming tower. On a day when we added an unlicensed 3.5 GHz spectrum that the FCC authorized for use in 2020, it was fitting that the Commissioner could witness the infrastructure that will help provide reliable broadband internet to hundreds of families in Evansville, Wyoming.
The visit comes just weeks after the Commerce Department released new rules that will govern the expenditure of $42.5 billion in grants authorized by Congress in the 2021 Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (“Infrastructure Act”). The new regulations exclude providers solely using unlicensed spectrum from accessing the grant.
Commissioner Carr himself expressed concerns about the new broadband rules. In a statement released by the FCC, he mentioned concerns that the new rules would not deliver on the intended goal of “quickly and efficiently extending high-speed Internet service to all Americans” but instead “would deviate from the statute by preferencing one technology over another, head down the path towards rate regulation, and otherwise waste taxpayer dollars by pursuing extraneous political goals that will leave families waiting on the wrong side of the digital divide.”
Vistabeam’s mission has always been to help bridge America's digital divide by providing high-speed internet to unserved and underserved areas of Colorado, Nebraska, and Wyoming. We are confident that our infrastructure, just like the newly installed internet spectrum in Evansville, Wyoming, will continue to deliver extraordinary connections. Our extensive infrastructure, backed by incredible customer satisfaction rankings often surpassing those of fiber providers, means we can continue to thrive in this mission.