Grizzly Internet to Bring Fiber Broadband to West Yellowstone

  • Grizzly Internet
WEST YELLOWSTONE, MT — West Yellowstone will soon be one of the first rural areas in southwest Montana to offer its residents fiber optic Internet access, according to an article in the West Yellowstone News.

Jason and Tashara Pond of Grizzly Internet, an Internet service provider offering service to residents and businesses in the Hebgen Basin and town of West Yellowstone, MT, are being credited with making the project happen. The proposed plan would bring fiber optic Internet to Old Town and the Grizzly Addition by the end of the year and the entire town by the end of 2016 before expanding into the Hebgen Basin. According to the development agreement signed by Pond and Mayor Schmier Tuesday, Grizzly Internet will incur all costs of the installation.

Two-Phase Buildout
In the proposed plan, Grizzly Internet indicates that the initial phase of construction will begin around May 1 (or as soon as the ground thaws) and will be finished by the fall of this year. The initial phase would provide fiber optic access to both Old Town and the Grizzly Addition.

Phase two is set to begin in May of 2016 and will bring fiber optic access to the Madison Addition by the fall of that year.
Pond says that Grizzly Internet plans to expand out into the Hebgen Basin after the project is completed in town, with fiber optic access being made available in the Horse Butte, Duck Creek and Hwy. 287 area to Kirkwood by 2018 with Fisherman’s Village and the Denny Creek Road area along Hwy. 20 to follow in 2019.

Meeting Broadband Needs of Residents, Seasonal Residents, Businesses and Visitors
In the article Pond is quoted as saying that "the need for faster Internet in West Yellowstone is great and his project will help satisfy the needs of residents, businesses and tourists. “There is a huge driving demand for more and faster access in West Yellowstone. A lot of our seasonal residents come from large cities and they expect to have fast Internet, but we do live in the middle of nowhere. I am trying to make a step in that direction to help benefit the community and grow my business at the same time,” Pond said. “Fiber has a relatively unlimited capacity. It’s only limited by the quality of the optics on each end whereas wireless technology is limited by physics. We will be running a single fiber from our office to each residence or business. That will give us a very high capacity capability and we will only have to do very simple upgrades in the future.”

Growing the Local Economy Beyond Tourism
Pond also says that the fiber optic installation will help the town economically. “Economically, for the town, especially with the possible purchase of the 80 acres, it now gives the town the ability to start looking at bringing in other businesses that may not necessarily be 100 percent tourist supported. We are talking about manufacturing and distribution,” he said. “I have already been contacted by a manufacturer of high-end fly fishing equipment that is looking to buy property in West Yellowstone, but they are going to need high-speed Internet to handle their needs.”

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