Tester Secures $119.9 Million for High-Speed Internet Connectivity for 61,000 Montanans
Funding will come from Senator’s American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA)
In his continued push to ensure Montana communities have access to reliable, affordable high-speed internet connectivity, U.S. Senator Jon Tester today secured $119.9 million through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) to build out high-speed internet to 61,000 locations across the state. This funding comes from ARPA’s Capital Projects Fund, which prioritizes building out internet infrastructure in areas that currently lack access to reliable internet.
“As a third-generation farmer living in a rural area, I’m no stranger to the challenges Montanans face when their community lacks reliable, high-speed internet access,” said Tester. “Since I came to the U.S. Senate, I’ve been working to increase high-speed internet connectivity across our state so that folks in rural Montana don’t fall through the cracks. That’s why I fought for this funding in the American Rescue Plan, and I’m proud to see these federal dollars finally going to projects that will serve every corner of the Treasure State.”
This funding will be used to provide high-speed internet access to an estimated 61,100 locations across the state of Montana. Internet service providers that receive this funding will also participate in the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) Affordable Connectvity Program (ACP), which provides a $30 per month subsidy for low-income families.
Tester is Montana’s leading champion for high-speed internet connectivity in rural America. Earlier this week, following Tester’s push, the FCC released new and increasingly accurate maps that illustrate what internet service options are available to a particular residence.
Tester also worked across the aisle for months to negotiate the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) with a group of five Republicans, four Democrats, and the White House. Tester secured significant wins for Montana in the legislation, including $65 billion to deploy broadband to areas across the country that lack internet access and additionally make online connectivity more affordable.