BOZEMAN, Montana, July 27, 2022 – Officials on the non-profit web entity Yellowstone Fiber introduced Thursday that they might pursue federal broadband funding to increase community development in rural areas of its footprint in Montana.
Because each state is poised to obtain a minimal of $100 million to increase broadband infrastructure below the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, officers at Yellowstone Fiber consider they’re well-suited to acquire funding to attach houses, companies, farms, and ranches to high-speed fiber web within the sections of the Montana’s Gallatin County north of Bozeman.
Although Yellowstone Fiber is simply going dwell with its first prospects in September – and started providing pre-sales in late July – the brand new fiber entity believes that the supply of funding by way of the Broadband Equity, Access and Deployment program of IIJA affords a singular alternative.
As with all states, Montana will obtain a minimal of $100 million to increase high-speed broadband infrastructure to the almost one-third of state residents who at the moment lack entry.
Speaking concerning the impending launch of providers on Yellowstone Fiber, CEO Greg Metzger mentioned, “This is an important milestone for Yellowstone Fiber and we’re enormously excited to announce we’ll have the network live in a matter of weeks.”
“For decades, people in rural Montana have been limited by slow and expensive internet service and empty promises by cable providers. Today’s announcement signals we’re serious about connecting rural Gallatin County to high-speed fiber and the limitless possibilities that it brings,” he mentioned.
Yellowstone Fiber is constructing an open entry community, which implies that Yellowstone builds, owns, and operates the fiber infrastructure, then leases area on its high-speed fiber to service suppliers, together with Blackfoot Communications, Skynet Communications, Global Net, TCT and XMission.
In an interview, Metzger touted the position that open entry networks play in enabling free market competitors, together with higher costs, service, and reliability.
Metzger, an entrepreneur who beforehand manufactured plastic deposit baggage for banks, bought that enterprise and acquired a furnishings firm in Montana.
Although he mentioned he would fairly be enjoying golf, when he stumbled throughout a brand new funding mechanism, he determined to create a non-profit entity designed to serve his neighborhood with fiber optic community providers.
Yellowstone Fiber was previously Bozeman Fiber, and was created in 2015 as an financial growth initiative to handle the dearth of true high-speed broadband in Gallatin County, Montana.
A bunch was shaped together with the City of Bozeman, Gallatin County, the Bozeman School District and enterprise leaders and funded by eight banks with a Community Reinvestment Act-designated mortgage.
This $4,000,000 was used to create a fiber ring connecting anchor tenants together with the town, county and the varsity district, and in addition servicing the Cannery district and downtown Bozeman.
Anchor operations started within the fall of 2016, and business operations in February 2017. In 2020, the community shaped an operational partnership with Utah-based UTOPIA Fiber to convey fiber-to-the-home providers to each handle in Gallatin County.