Blackfoot Communications today announced plans to invest more than $76 million in rural Montana fiber-based broadband. The state of Montana awarded more than $60 million in ConnectMT grants, with Blackfoot contributing more than $16 million to fully fund the project.
Blackfoot Communications received seven grants to provide broadband to the counties of Granite, Missoula, Ravalli, and Sanders. Darby, Drummond, Philipsburg, Plains, and Potomac are some of the individual communities. The deployment of fiber in these areas will begin in the spring of 2023, with a completion date of 2026.
Customers will be able to access fast, reliable broadband internet speeds of up to 1 Gbps or more as a result of Blackfoot’s investment. Since 2017, Blackfoot has invested nearly $50 million in fiber-based broadband infrastructure across Montana, including the deployment of full fiber-to-the-premise networks in Thompson Falls and St. Ignatius, and is currently constructing an all-fiber network west of Anaconda, including the Georgetown Lake area.
According to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), Montana ranks low in terms of broadband access, with nearly one-third of Montana residents lacking access to high-speed internet. Blackfoot is working hard to reverse this trend and is committed to bringing fiber-based broadband to its entire 5,000-square-mile Montana service territory.
Blackfoot Communications serves homes and businesses in Western Montana and Eastern Idaho with voice, broadband, and fiber-based internet connectivity.