Montana Sen. Jon Tester has sent a letter to FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski, asking that plans for encouraging broadband growth in America do not harm… Read More »Tester appeals to FCC chairman on behalf of rural broadband
According to data from the last two years, collected by M-Lab, a joint effort of Google and the New America Foundation, Montana has the slowest average download speeds in the country — a measly 2.57 Mbps.
Regulators in Montana have approved a merger between CenturyLink and Qwest Communications.
A Carlsbad, Calif.-based communications company won approval from the Gallatin County Commission last week to build a pair of 34-foot-tall satellite dishes along Love Lane… Read More »Gallatin County approves ViaSat dishes west of Bozeman
The Montana Telecommunication Association today sent a letter to the heads of the NTIA and the RUS, saying that the agencies’ stimulus funding for rural broadband is wasteful, bad for consumers and a threat to local telecommunications companies.
Data from Montana’s broadband mapping program has been sent to NTIA and should be published to the Web this fall, the Department of Commerce says.
A response from RUS Administrator Jonathan Adelstein to my story about the criticism of Montana Opticom’s $64 million stimulus award.
Two weeks ago, the federal government announced that Gallatin Gateway-based Montana Opticom would receive $64 million in stimulus money to bring world-class broadband access to rural parts of Gallatin County.
The plan is to bury fiber-optic cable throughout a 153-square-mile area, from Manhattan to Belgrade and south along U.S. Highway 191 to the mouth of Gallatin Canyon. Specifics of how that will be accomplished have not been released.
Opticom says the three-year broadband project will make high-speed Internet available to more than 18,000 people and 11,000 homes and businesses, bringing economic development, education and entertainment opportunities to an underserved area.
“It’s a good day for Montana,” Opticom spokesman Dean Genge said Aug. 4 when the stimulus award was announced. “More than jobs, it’s going to affect lives for a long time.”
But in the days after the award announcement, local Internet service companies began to question the wisdom of the government’s funding decision.
Those companies say the area in question is far from underserved and that the feds have wasted stimulus funds on a project that will only duplicate work they have already done to lay broadband infrastructure in northwestern Gallatin County.
A few more notes on Montana Opticom’s $64 million stimulus award to improve rural broadband in Gallatin County.
A local telecommunications company, Montana Opticom, has received $64 million in federal stimulus money to expand broadband Internet service in rural parts of western Gallatin County.