ConnectMT Requests Public Feedback on Broadband Needs
The ConnectMT Program was developed as a result of Senate Bill 297 and House Bill 632 in Montana’s 67th legislative session and is funded by the American Rescue Plan Act which was passed by U.S. Congress in 2021. Up to $266 million will be awarded to deliver new high-speed terrestrial based broadband service for underserved, unserved, and frontier locations throughout Montana.
The Montana Department of Administration is conducting research to increase broadband access and quality across Montana. Over the next few months, researchers (Summit Consulting, LLC) will travel across six cities (Billings, Glendive, Glasgow, Kalispell, Great Falls, Helena) to conduct outreach sessions and administer surveys to Communities. This research will help to ensure a comprehensive understanding of Montanans’ internet needs and meet the goal of increasing internet access across the State.
It is estimated that nearly 24% of Montanans do not have an internet subscription of any kind. As such, this research is crucial to increasing connectivity and bridging the digital divide to better connect residents connected for school, work, and staying in touch with friends and family. Links and details about the Montana Broadband Survey are included below; along with details about the upcoming Public and Community Leader listening sessions happening from September 7 – September 14, 2022.
Montana residents are encouraged to complete a 10-minute survey. Community leaders and individuals who live in Montana can support this critical research by taking a 10-minute by clicking the button below:
COMMUNITY OUTREACH SESSIONS
Community leaders across Montana are invited to participate in outreach sessions the research team is conducting in cities across Montana (Billings, Glendive, Glasgow, Kalispell, Great Falls, Helena). You can RSVP for these sessions on the ConnectMT website (Home (mt.gov)).
The Montana Broadband Survey team also will host online video conferences to discuss internet access across the state if community leaders are otherwise not able to attend the in-person sessions. Community Leaders can choose this online meeting option in the above RSVP link.
All Montanans are invited to participate in townhall sessions for the general public, to share your feedback and opinions on internet access in Montana. No RSVP is required for these sessions. These sessions will be held in the following locations and dates:
When: Wednesday, September 7th from 8am to 9am
Where: DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Billings, 27 N 27th St, Billings, MT 59101
When: Thursday, September 8th from 8am to 9am
Where: Holiday Inn Express & Suites Glendive, 1919 N Merrill Ave, Glendive, MT 59330
When: Friday, September 9th from 8am to 9am
Where: Cottonwood Inn & Suites, 54250 US-2, Glasgow, MT 59230
When: Monday, September 12th from 8am to 9am
Where: Hampton Inn Kalispell, 1140 U.S. Hwy 2 W, Kalispell, MT 59901
When: Tuesday, September 13th from 8am to 9am
Where: Heritage Inn, 1700 Fox Farm Rd, Great Falls, MT 59404
When: Wednesday, September 14th from 8am to 9am
Where: Wingate by Wyndham Helena Airport, 2007 N Oakes St, Helena, MT 59601
These six cities are not the last opportunity for you to provide feedback. The Montana Broadband Survey team will be touring the state a second time in the coming months to hear residents’ opinions on internet access. Please monitor the website for information regarding these follow-up sessions.
Montanans may contact ConnectMT@mt.govwith questions and concerns.