CenturyLink gets money for rural broadband and other news

Internet provider CenturyLink is in the news today for good or ill.

The Associated Press and other outlets [report](http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-505250_162-57481222/centurylink-gets-$1.9m-for-mont-rural-broadband/) that the company will receive $1.9 million from the FCC to provide broadband to rural areas of Montana.

THE FCC says the money will provide access to 6,300 residents who currently don’t have broadband. Roughly 55 percent of the state’s rural residents don’t have broadband access.

The money is part of a larger pot of $35 million CenturyLink will accept from the FCC for similar projects across the country.

CenturyLink was eligible for $90 million from the federal agency’s Connect America Fund, but restrictions on the use of those funds “made further deployment uneconomic,” [according to a press release from the company](http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/centurylink-to-accept-fcc-connect-america-funds-163908566.html).

Also, [MTN News reports](http://www.kbzk.com/news/severed-optics-line-takes-many-mt-govt-offices-offline/) that one of the company’s fiber optic cables was severed overnight between Helena and Bozeman.

CenturyLink, the article states, provides Internet service and networks for the state state government, and departments MTN spoke to “beleive that every state and county agency east of the break could be currently offline.”

The state uses a system called SummitNet to store information, which was affected by the break. It also could have affected many county websites.

Here at the Chronicle, I had access to [mt.gov](http://www.mt.gov) at 10 a.m., but your milage may vary.