The Saratoga Sun -

Union Telephone to expand coverage

Union Telephone Company to invest $100 million in Wyoming, Northwest Colorado, and Northeast Utah

 

August 5, 2020



Union Telephone Company, in partnership with CoBank, recently announced a $100 million debt placement with the funds being invested over the next two years in the region.

Union Telephone Company will expand its mobile wireless network, improving coverage across all of Wyoming as well as parts of northern Colorado and Utah, eastern Idaho, and southern Montana. Union will also continue its investment in its fiber optic backbone and broadband service delivery.

Union Telephone Company was selected by AT&T to support the deployment of FirstNet–the only nationwide high-speed broadband network purpose-built specifically for America’s first responders–across Wyoming. Based on the collaboration with AT&T, Union Telephone Company will help build out additional LTE coverage and add Band 14 across rural communities in the state. Band 14 spectrum is high-quality spectrum set aside by the government specifically for FirstNet that provides public safety with a dedicated lane of connectivity when needed.

The investment will not only support mobile connectivity among first responders across the country, but it will allow increased and improved coverage for Union’s local customers. The network upgrade includes the construction of and modification to cellular towers and improvements to middle mile infrastructure.

CoBank, a member of the Farm Credit System, provides financial services to agriculture and utility industries across rural America. More specifically, the institution supports agribusiness, power, water, and telecommunications.

Union Telephone was founded in 1914 by John Woody. After returning home from World War II, John’s son, Howard Woody, expanded the company’s traditional landline service areas across southern Wyoming and built a robust cellular network from the early 1990s onward. More recently, Union Telephone began deploying fiber-to-the-premise (FTTP) to support broadband to local communities, including Saratoga, Bridger Valley, and Pinedale, Wyoming, as well as in Manila, Utah.

The company lays 150 miles of backhaul fiber each year and manages 396 company-owned cellular towers. On an annual basis, the company invests $20 million of capital expenditure into Wyoming with the deployment of fiber optics and the installation of technology that enhances traditional telecommunications infrastructure, allowing high-grade voice, wireless, and broadband services.

Union Telephone Company is the second largest owner of microwave spectrum west of the Mississippi River. It currently employs 284 in Wyoming at its headquarters in Mountain View and in various retail stores and central offices across Wyoming.

“Union Telephone is proud to partner with CoBank and AT&T on this important public safety initiative” said Brian Woody, Union’s Chief Customer Relations Officer. “Reliable wireless coverage keeps workers safe, families connected, and communities engaged.”

 

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