Governor Bullock Continues Broadband Partnership

Governor's Office, Commerce, School Administrators team up with EducationSuperHighway

Thursday, September 28, 2017/Categories: Community Development Division

Students work in a computer lab.

We are excited to announce that the Governor’s Office, the Department of Commerce (DOC) and the School
Administrators of Montana (SAM) have teamed up with EducationSuperHighway for the third year in a row on
the Montana School Broadband Project.

Over the past two years, our work with EducationSuperHighway across 40 school districts has resulted in
increased Internet speed and scalable connections for over 33,000 students in the state. For example, Red Lodge
Public Schools upgraded their network from copper infrastructure to a scalable fiber Internet connection; they
now receive three times the bandwidth speeds to their schools and hundreds of students may collaborate and
learn in real time with one another. Similarly, Park City Schools worked with their service provider to increase
their bandwidth by moving from a 20 Mbps cable modem to a 100 Mbps lit fiber solution, and Cayuse Prairie
School also doubled their bandwidth with no installation cost to the district.

To ensure all Montana students and teachers experience these same high-speed benefits, we secured a $2 million
appropriation through House Bill 390 that will serve as a “state match” to leverage additional funding from the
Federal Communications Commission’s E-rate program. The Department of Commerce will also support E-rate
consulting services for districts to assist you with your E-rate applications. These combined resources could
trigger up to $20 million in broadband investments for Montana schools, helping many of you get access to the
bandwidth your students and teachers need.

EducationSuperHighway and the Department of Commerce stand ready to help you take advantage of this
funding and find viable options to upgrade your school networks. All assistance through the Montana School
Broadband Project is provided free of charge. To get started, visit
http://comdev.mt.gov/programs/broadband.

Together, we will continue to support Montana students by improving access to educational opportunities
through access to high-speed Internet connections. We look forward keeping you updated on this initiative over
the school year.

STEVE BULLOCK, Governor

PAM HAXBY-COTE, Director, Montana Department of Commerce 

 
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