Montana Governor Announces Step to Expand Broadband

HELENA,MT (STL.News) Governor Greg Gianforte announced a significant step toward expanding reliable access to broadband throughout Montana.

The state has released a Request for Information (RFI) to support the ConnectMT Act broadband program, one of the first major steps in closing the digital divide for Montana.

“For too long and in too many of our communities, Montanans haven’t had access to reliable broadband, and the digital divide continues to grow,” Gov. Gianforte said.  “By putting together a comprehensive map of our current broadband infrastructure, we’re taking a significant step to close the longstanding digital divide, increase access to reliable broadband, and create greater long-term opportunities for Montanans.”

Expanding access to reliable broadband and bridging the digital divide are hallmarks of the governor’s Montana Comeback Plan.

The ConnectMT Program is essential for Montanans to work, create jobs, gain greater access to health care through telemedicine, receive a world-class education from anywhere, and allow rural Montanans to participate more fully in the global economy.

“The ConnectMT Program will allocate at least $275 million to connect Montanans’ broadband infrastructure,” said Department of Administration Director Misty Ann Giles.  “With this map, providers can plan projects to bridge the digital divide.  By working with internet service providers, the Gianforte administration will implement ARPA goals of bridging the digital divide and enhancing digital equity.”

Once published, the broadband map will be publicly available at arpa.mt.gov/communications.  Refer to this site for further ConnectMT Program information and to track future events.