Skip to Content
Resize Text:      A A
Home  /  Newsroom  /  Headlines
Oct 8, 2021   |  

KLYQ: Montana Internet Speeds May Improve With These Changes

By: Steve Fullerton

A recent survey from BroadbandNow Research showed the state of Montana at the very bottom of the rankings for internet coverage, price and speed. The company found that only 77 percent of the population had broadband access, and only 62 percent could get low-priced plans. The average speed test for the whole state was 110.5 Mbps.

Companies have been burying more fiber-optic cable throughout the state. Crews, for instance, have been working along US 93 in Ravalli County and in some neighborhoods on the east side of Hamilton. Federal money to get more access to rural areas have been approved, but it takes a while for the work to be done. Meanwhile, Montana Senator Jon Tester recently secured about $850,000 from the American Rescue Plan Act to help 11 schools gain better internet access. The money is directed toward purchasing modems, routers, laptops, tablets and Wi-Fi hotspots.

Florence-Carlton in Ravalli County was included in the lucky school districts. Others were Yak, Fromberg, Red Lodge, Billings School District 2, Great Falls Public Schools, Gallatin Gateway, Manhattan, Whitehall, Valley View in Polson and Upper West Shore at Dayton. The Florence funding was $159,600. Other packages ranged from about $2,500 to $500,000.

The money will come from the Federal Communications Commission's Emergency Connectivity Fund Program. Tester said in a news release, "Affordable high-speed internet is a necessity in today's schools, whether it's to make up for learning loss due to the pandemic, accessing online resources, or simply logging in to distance learning. But far too many students across Montana still lack access to reliable broadband services."


Office Contact Information

Senator Tester's Montana staff serves the state from offices in Billings, Bozeman, Butte, Great Falls, Helena, Kalispell, and Missoula. Please bring your concerns with federal agencies, academy nominations, and other situations to one of these Montana offices.


Judge Jameson Federal Building
2900 4th Ave N, Suite 201
Billings, MT 59101
Phone: (406) 252-0550
Fax: (406) 252-7768


Avant Courier Building
1 E Main Street, Suite 202
Bozeman, MT 59715
Phone: (406) 586-4450
Fax: (406) 586-7647


Silver Bow Center
125 W Granite, Suite 200
Butte, MT 59701
Phone: (406) 723-3277
Fax: (406) 782-4717

Great Falls

119 1st Avenue N, Suite 102
Great Falls, MT 59401
Phone: (406) 452-9585
Fax: (406) 452-9586


208 North Montana Avenue
Suite 104
Helena, MT 59601
Phone: (406) 449-5401
Fax: (406) 449-5462


8 Third Street E
Kalispell, MT 59901
Phone: (406) 257-3360
Fax: (406) 257-3974


130 W Front St.
Missoula, MT 59802
Phone: (406) 728-3003
Fax: (406) 728-2193

Home   |   Meet Jon   |   Services   |   Newsroom   |   Legislation   |   Contact   |   Privacy