Montana there are no municipal broadband services available in Montana,

  • Montana there are no municipal broadband services available in Montana,

    Posted by Michael on August 11, 2021 at 6:46 am

    Montana there are no municipal broadband services available in Montana,

    Mon. Code Ann. § 2-17-603

    Montana state laws only allow municipalities to offer broadband services if there are no other private companies offering broadband within the municipality’s jurisdiction, or if the municipality can offer “advanced services” that are not available from incumbents. For municipalities that are currently offering broadband service, local authorities must alert their subscribers if a private company decides to enter the market. The law also states that the municipality “may choose” to discontinue their own service within 180 days of the arrival of a private company, though it’s unclear whether the municipality must discontinue service.

    Montana’s mostly rural landscape and lack of connectivity means that these rules effectively only come into play in urban areas where private telecom companies are operating. And yet, there are no municipal broadband services available in Montana, save for a “community fiber network,” in parts of Bozeman.

    In 2021, Rep. Kelly Kortum, D-Bozeman introduced HB 422, which was intended to repeal the above restrictions against cities operating broadband networks. The bill passed two initial readings, but ultimately failed on a third after Republican lawmakers reversed course.

    Michael replied 1 year, 1 month ago 1 Member · 0 Replies
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