Bozeman, Mont., June 12, 2023 – U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development in Montana State Director Kathleen Williams announced today an investment of more than $47 million in two telephone cooperatives that will bring affordable high-speed internet connection to rural residents, farmers, business owners, and educational institutions across six Montana counties.
“Internet access is a necessity for Montanans to participate in the many needs and opportunities online in education, health care, business, keeping in touch with loved ones, and more,” said Williams. “At USDA, we are working to make sure rural Montanans have the same opportunities as their urban neighbors in all these important areas, so we can ensure Montana remains a place of opportunity for those who live, work, and raise their families here.”
USDA is connecting more people to high-speed internet in this fourth round of funding through the ReConnect Program. Since the beginning of the Biden-Harris Administration, USDA has invested in 142 ReConnect projects that will bring high-speed internet access to more than 300,000 people living in rural and Tribal communities.
Today’s announcement includes $714 million in USDA investments across 19 states throughout the country. Montana investments for this round of funding include:
InterBel Telephone Cooperative in Eureka, Montana, which received a $12,095,841 ReConnect Grant to deploy a fiber-to-the-premises high-speed internet network that will benefit more than 900 rural residents, 36 businesses, and 11 farms in northwestern Lincoln and Flathead Counties. InterBel will also make internet service more affordable by participating in the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) Lifeline and Affordable Connectivity Programs (ACP).
Nemont Telephone Cooperative, Inc., based in Scobey, Montana which received a $34,999,474 to deploy a fiber-to-the-premises high-speed internet network that will benefit more than 2,300 rural residents, 115 businesses, 63 farms, and 18 educational facilities in northeastern Phillips, Roosevelt, Sheridan and Valley Counties. Nemont also will make internet service more affordable by participating in the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) Lifeline and Affordable Connectivity Programs and will serve a large area of the Fort Peck Reservation.
USDA Rural Development has six offices in Montana – Billings, Bozeman, Great Falls, Helena, Kalispell, and Missoula. To learn more about investment resources for rural areas in Montana, call (406) 585-2587 or visit www.rd.usda.gov/mt.
Under the Biden-Harris Administration, USDA Rural Development provides loans and grants to help expand economic opportunities, create jobs, and improve the quality of life for millions of Americans in rural and Tribal areas by supporting improvements in infrastructure, business development, housing, and community facilities in rural, tribal, and high-poverty areas. For more information, visit www.rd.usda.gov.
To receive USDA Rural Development updates visit the GovDelivery subscriber page and follow on Twitter @RD_Montana.
USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer, and lender.