The Office of the Governor of the State of Montana

03/26/2024 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 03/26/2024 14:09

Governor Gianforte Secures Federal Approval of Digital Opportunity Plan

Governor Gianforte Secures Federal Approval of Digital Opportunity Plan

NTIA approval of Digital Opportunity Plan unlocks additional funding

Governor's Office
  • March 26 2024

HELENA, Mont. - Today, Governor Gianforte announced the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) approved the state's plan to address disparities in digital access, skills, and affordability in Montana.

"Lack of broadband access shouldn't stand between Montanans and opportunities for a good-paying job, greater education, and affordable, high-quality health care," Gov. Gianforte said. "One of the top priorities of our administration is to expand broadband access to underserved and unserved areas of Montana, while also addressing digital literacy. With this approval, Montana is now able to compete for additional federal funds to bridge the digital divide and open doors to greater opportunities."

NTIA's approval of the state plan allows Montana to compete for new federal funding to continue broadband expansion efforts in support of the state's economic, workforce, health, and educational goals.

Expanding access to reliable broadband is a central element of Governor Gianforte's Montana Comeback Plan.

Since taking office, Governor Gianforte has taken action to expand broadband access for Montanans:

  • In 2021, the governor signed the Connect MT Act into law, which provided $275 million in federal funds to expand broadband access.
  • In 2022, the governor announced a $309 million investment to expand broadband access to 61,887 serviceable locations, including 38,631 in unserved communities, 21,956 in underserved communities, and 1,300 in frontier communities.
  • In 2023, the State of Montana secured more than $628 million through the NTIA's Broadband Equity Access and Deployment (BEAD) program.