Tester announces $6.8 million dollar award to expand broadband in northwest Montana

Frontier Communications to use FCC grant to serve up to 2,300 Montana homes and businesses

(U.S. Senate) -Senator Jon Tester today announced that Frontier Communications will receive a $6.8 million award to expand broadband access to as many as 2,300 homes and businesses in northwest Montana.

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) award is part of the Connect America Fund which incentivizes high-speed broadband expansion in unserved areas. The award will be distributed over six years.

Tester, who knows the importance of broadband to Montana’s economy, recently pushed FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler to expand broadband access to all eligible unserved areas.

“In the 21st Century, reliable internet access is just as important as roads and bridges to growing our economy,” Tester said. “This award will give northwest Montana’s small business owners tools to expand their operations and ensures that folks have access to the world of information at their fingertips.”

Frontier has agreed to deliver broadband speeds of at least 10 Megabytes per second, which is more than double speeds that were previously required by the FCC’s broadband rollout.

Tester also recently urged FCC Chairman Wheeler to modernized his agency’s Universal Service Fund to provide financial assistance to telecomm carriers who supply service to rural customers.