Montana Public Radio

Montana Telecommunications Association

Concept image of cables and connections for internet data transfer
iStock

The Montana Senate gave an initial endorsement this week to a bill meant to encourage the spread of high-speed internet across the state. The legislation would introduce tax exemptions for businesses that lay the cable needed for high-speed connections.

Concept image of cables and connections for internet data transfer
iStock

Rural internet providers across the country are waiting on the federal government to finish giving directions on what to do with recently banned Chinese equipment. The delay is adding uncertainty and costs to efforts to narrow Montana’s digital divide.

 

This story is part of our series that looks at lasting ways Montana is adapting during the pandemic. It’s funded in part by the Solutions Journalism Network.

For years, economic developers have touted the possibilities for people to live in Montana and work for companies that aren’t here. The COVID-19 shutdown has, in some ways, offered proof of that concept. 

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.