Montana Public Radio

Federal Communications Commission

A self-described white nationalist content creator living in Libby has been fined nearly $10 million for hundreds of illegal robo-calls. The Federal Communications Commission announced the fine earlier this month.

Labels on the back of CSKT servers name the locations of four cellular towers on that are broadcasting high-speed internet over roughly 1,300 square miles on the Flathead Indian Reservation.
Aaron Bolton / Montana Public Radio

The build-out of wireless broadband networks in Indian Country may get a boost from a new $1 billion tribal broadband fund. The federal fund was set up by the latest COVID relief bill late last year.

About three quarters of Montanans have broadband access. But that access is less prevalent in rural parts of Montana, which are home to the state’s seven Indian reservations. Federal coronavirus relief funding is helping some tribes to build their own wireless broadband networks, shrinking the stark digital divide on reservations.

Network cables plugged in to an internet router
iStock

Montana Democratic Sen. Jon Tester says rural America is now one step closer to better broadband coverage.

The Broadband Data Act that cleared the U.S Senate this week is on its way to President Donald Trump’s desk where it’s expected to be signed into law.

AT&T, Sprint and Verizon and nine other telecommunications companies teamed up with attorneys general of all 50 states plus the District of Columbia to announce a new pact to eradicate a common scourge in America: illegal robocalls.

Bill Would Offer Tax Breaks To Fiber Optic Providers

Feb 19, 2019
Montana Capitol.
Corin Cates-Carney / Montana Public Radio

HELENA — The Federal Communications Commission standard for broadband download speed is 25 megabits per second. According to a report published by the FCC in 2017, about half of Montanans have access to the minimum speeds.

Network cables.
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Microsoft announced a new agreement this week to deliver broadband internet service to over 73,000 people in rural Montana and Washington who currently have slow, or no internet whatsoever.

The FCC says roughly 40 percent of rural Montanans lack access to a broadband internet connection.

Montana Mandates 'Net Neutrality' For State Contracts

Jan 23, 2018
Network cables.
(PD)

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — Montana on Monday became the first state to bar telecommunications companies from receiving state contracts if they interfere with internet traffic or favor higher-paying sites or apps, under an order from Gov. Steve Bullock intended to protect so-called net neutrality.

Internet things
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The Republicans in Montana’s congressional delegation praised the Federal Communications Commission’s vote Thursday to dismantle Obama-era regulations on so-called internet neutrality. Democrat Jon Tester said it will be bad for Montana entrepreneurs.

Sen. Jon Tester
U.S. Senate

Congress is now dickering over how to fund reauthorization of two programs that provide healthcare for tens of thousands of Montana Families. The Children’s Health Insurance Program and Community Health Center Fund expired at the end of September.

Montana’s senior senator says congressional Republicans seem to be more concerned about – as he puts it – "tax giveaways for wealthy out-of-staters" than the solvency of community and child healthcare programs.

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