News Archives

Pandemic highlights Montana's digital divide

The COVID-19 pandemic has shined a light on Montana’s widening digital divide. Working from home, online school and telehealth have all become pandemic necessities, but many Montanans don’t have access to adequate broadband internet.  Read more

November 20, 2020

An unexpected $15,000 gift

3 Rivers uses FCC’s relaxed restrictions to help community libraries and schools.  Any funding for a community library is beneficial, but a $15,000 grant from 3 Rivers Communications for the Big Sky Community Library – during all the uncertainty a pandemic provides – was an unexpected gift. Don Serido, Marketing Manager for 3 Rivers Communications explained in a library press release that a few things made the grant possible. The Federal Communications Commission relaxed restrictions on gift-giving from telecommunications providers to E-Rate recipients.  Read more

August 6, 2020


Range will combine network capabilities and industry expertise enhancing the customer experience.  Read more

August 4, 2020

Boosting broadband: Forest Service may change permits, access

From time to time, backcountry travelers notice an unusually tall and odd-looking tree in the forest: a clumsily camouflaged communications tower.

Those towers, and more obvious collections of cell-phone and data relay stations, could get technological updates soon based on directives from Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue. Read more

July 5, 2020

Economic Affairs Interim Committee letter to Gov. Bullock urges working with private providers to encourage broadband expansion.

Click here to read the letter.  

July 2, 2020

The COVID imperative: Connect rural America now

Amid the national debate about reopening the economy, one powerful lesson from the COVID-19 pandemic is now self-evident to all: Broadband is essential infrastructure for every community — and America must prioritize ensuring all of its citizens are connected to this vital modern resource. Read more

June 2, 2020

Gary Bolton: Under the Stress of COVID-19, the Networks That Held Fast Were Symmetrical Fiber Broadband

During this pandemic, broadband networks across the world have been put to the ultimate stress test, expected to support an overnight transition to work-from-home for most businesses, multiple video users from households for two income knowledge worker families plus distance learning sessions for children.  Read more

May 29, 2020

Energy and Telecommunications Interim Committee

Comments of the Montana Telecommunications Association

May 21, 2020


Implementation of the TRACED Act Section 6(1) - Knowledge of Customers by Entities with Access To Numbering Resources.  Comments of the Montana Telecommunications Association.

May 15, 2020

Can broadband keep up with demand during the pandemic? 

The coronavirus pandemic has led to unprecedented demand for broadband internet service, and a Senate hearing Wednesday focused on what the tech industry is doing to keep up with telework and students doing distance learning.  Read more

May 13, 2020 

NTCA study on contributions reform  


May 7, 2020

Momentum builds for rural broadband bailout as coronavirus chaos spreads

After providing little relief to broadband companies in the latest COVID-19 relief bill, lawmakers are coalescing behind a $2- billion fund to prop up rural providers whose customers can’t pay.  Read more

May 4, 2020

Local internet providers support community during pandemic

With schools and many businesses closed to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, Mission Valley residents are turning to ...Read more

April 29, 2020

FCC Releases 2020 Broadband Deployment Report

The Federal Communications is charged with “encourag[ing] the deployment on a reasonable and timely basis of advanced telecommunications capability to all Americans . . . by removing barriers to infrastructure investment and by promoting competition in the telecommunications market.” Available evidence demonstrates that the digital divide continues to narrow as more Americans than ever before have access to high-speed broadband.  Read more

April 25, 2020

Legislative Services Reports What’s Happening in State Government: Open for Business

State government continues to function and the Executive Branch COVID-19 website has the most recent information on COVID-19, but this is a place to learn about important changes affecting the citizens of Montana. Legislative researchers combed through agency websites and contacted state officials to compile overviews of state services affected and not affected by the pandemic.   Read more

April 10, 2020

Range companies, including RT offers free internet to students

As part of its continued response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Range Companies – Range Telephone Cooperative, Inc., RT Communications, Inc., and Dubois Telephone Exchange, Inc. – are coordinating with school districts in their subscriber areas to identify students who have a need for internet service in order to continue their education at home.  Read more

April 9, 2020

Remote Work and the Coronavirus

Which Communities Are Most Able and Which Are Most Vulnerable to Take Advantage of the Shift to Remote Work: In the wake of the coronavirus crisis, large segments of the U.S. workforce have shifted to remote work. The history of similar pandemics like the 1918 Spanish Flu indicates that they occur in waves. Even as the first wave of the crisis ends in a couple of months, we need to ready our workforce and our communities for a protracted period of protecting ourselves as we battle the virus. That means that a substantial share of Americans will be working remotely for the foreseeable future. Surveys and polling data suggest that more Americans desire to work remotely in the wake of the current health crisis. And we can expect an increased share of the workforce and companies to remote work as they realize the cost-savings and other benefits.  Read more

March 23, 2020