Broadband access helps promote economic development, while advancing public health and safety and educational opportunities. Unfortunately, in many of our rural communities reliable and affordable broadband is not a reality. The best data we have indicates 92% of urban Montana’s have access to broadband, while only 59% of rural Montanan’s have access. Research estimates there are 245,000 Montanans without access to a wired connection capable of 25mbps download speeds, 218,000 Montanans only have access to one wired provider leaving them with no option to switch, and another 40,000 people in Montana don’t have wired internet available where they live (Broadbandnow).
Broadband is critical to economic opportunity, job creation and education, and the state is committed to assisting in efforts that support increased connectivity throughout Montana.