Tester, Baucus secure high-speed internet access for 4,500 new businesses, households in Ravalli County

Senators successfully push FCC to partner with CenturyLink to increase broadband in southwest Montana

(U.S. SENATE) – Senators Jon Tester and Max Baucus recently secured new high-speed internet access for 4,500 new businesses and homes in Ravalli County.

The Senators successfully pushed the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to provide support enabling local phone and internet carriers to expand high-speed internet – known as broadband – to underserved communities throughout Montana. Prior to the Senators’ urging, the FCC were not providing enough support to continue the statewide project.

The majority of the FCC’s support in Montana will help CenturyLink expand broadband in Ravalli County.

“High-speed internet strengthens rural communities by making it easier for Montanans to get the information they need to take care of their families and connect to the global marketplace,” Tester said. “I’m glad the FCC and Century Link worked together to support Montana families and grow our economy, and I will keep fighting to get all Montanans reliable access to high-speed internet.”

“Access to reliable, high-speed internet supports good-paying Montana jobs by helping our families, students, farmers, ranchers and small businesses compete globally,” Baucus said. “The FCC and CenturyLink working together is a victory for rural Montana and I’m committed to bridging the digital divide to make sure all Montanan’s have the high-speed internet they need.”

“CenturyLink is excited to be able to bring broadband to unserved homes and businesses across rural Montana, where high-speed Internet service would not be economically feasible without public-private programs like the FCC’s Connect America Fund,” said Jeremy Ferkin, CenturyLink’s vice president and general manager for Montana and Wyoming. “We’re focused on expanding our local broadband service because we recognize it will help bring more essential educational and economic opportunities to our home state residents and businesses.”