Announcements

The ConnectMT Program was developed as a result of Senate Bill 297 and House Bill 632 in Montana’s 67th legislative session and is funded by the American Rescue Plan Act which was passed by U.S. Congress in 2021. Up to $266 million will be awarded to deliver new high-speed terrestrial based broadband service for underserved, unserved, and frontier locations throughout Montana.

 

The Montana Department of Administration is conducting research to increase broadband access and quality across Montana. In September 2022, researchers (Summit Consulting, LLC) travelled across six cities (Billings, Glendive, Glasgow, Kalispell, Great Falls, Helena) to conduct outreach sessions and administer surveys to communities. In December 2022, the team will visit four new cities (Butte, Missoula, Havre, and Miles City) to conduct outreach sessions and collect feedback on the DOA’s 5 Year Plan to improve internet access and quality in Montana. This research will help to ensure a comprehensive understanding of Montanans’ internet needs and meet the goal of increasing internet access across the State.

 

It is estimated that nearly 24% of Montanans do not have an internet subscription of any kind. As such, this research is crucial to increasing connectivity and bridging the digital divide to better connect residents connected for school, work, and staying in touch with friends and family.

 

Please visit the ConnectMT website for details about the upcoming Public Townhalls and Community Leader sessions taking place from December 5th-8th 2022 in Butte, Missoula, Havre, and Miles City. There will be two different types of sessions in each city: Community Leader Sessions (open to select stakeholder groups) and Public Townhalls (open to the general public).