WASHINGTON – The Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) announced that Montana received its first “Internet for All” grants for deploying high-speed Internet networks and developing digital skills training programs under the Biden-Harris Administration’s Internet for All initiative. Montana is receiving $5,601,301.36 in funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, signed by President Biden, to plan for the deployment and adoption of affordable, equitable, and reliable high-speed Internet service throughout the state.
"Closing the digital divide will provide equitable access to economic opportunities across Montana," said Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo. "I commend Governor Gianforte and his team for their work to expand reliable access to the Internet throughout the state."
“In a state as big as Montana, it’s critical that students and small business owners can stay connected with 21st century tools like high-speed Internet,” said Sen. John Tester. “This funding will allow the state to study and plan to address gaps in our broadband infrastructure, and should pave the road for new projects in the coming year. Working together, and with additional funding from my bipartisan infrastructure law, we’ll bring high-speed Internet to every corner of the Treasure State.”
All 50 U.S. states and six territories applied for planning grant funding for the Internet for All initiative's Broadband, Equity, Access and Deployment (BEAD) program and the Digital Equity Act program. Grant awards for all 56 eligible entities will be announced on a rolling basis.
About Montana’s Planning Grants
Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment Program
The BEAD Program provides $42.45 billion to expand high-speed Internet access by funding planning, infrastructure deployment and adoption programs. Montana will receive $5 million to fund various activities including:
- Developing Montana’s “ConnectMT” project, including a 5-year action plan identifying the state’s broadband access, affordability, equity, and adoption needs;
- Informing a cost analysis and utilization optimization model for building infrastructure to frontier, unserved, and underserved locations;
- Planning and capacity building of the state broadband office;
- Conducting surveys of communities to better understand barriers to high-speed Internet adoption.
The Digital Equity Act provides $2.75 billion to establish three grant programs to ensure that all people and communities have the skills, technology, and capacity needed to reap the full benefits of our digital economy. The first part of NTIA’s execution of the Digital Equity Act is to fund digital equity planning efforts.
Montana will receive $601,301.36 to fund various activities including:
- Developing a statewide digital equity plan to close the digital equity gap;
- Creating a strategy and baseline around Montana’s equity divide;
- Engaging with local communities and stakeholders on digital equity;
- Conducting advanced mapping efforts.
Internet for All
The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law includes a historic $65 billion investment to expand affordable and reliable high-speed Internet access in communities across the U.S. NTIA recently launched a series of new high-speed Internet grant programs funded by the law that will build high-speed Internet infrastructure across the country, create more low-cost high-speed Internet service options, and address the digital equity and inclusion needs in our communities.
Additionally, the Federal Communications Commission’s Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) provides a discount of up to $30 per month toward Internet service for eligible households and up to $75 per month for households on qualifying Tribal lands. Visit AffordableConnectivity.gov to learn more.
For more information on the Biden-Harris Administration’s high-speed Internet service programs, please visit InternetforAll.gov.