Rural Montanans need broadband

Tim Stark of Billings
Thursday, January 24, 2019

The Reader’s Viewpoint

More than 40 percent of rural Montanans lack access to broadband internet. This phenomenon, known as the digital divide, holds rural America back by not allowing millions of people to take advantage of the basic online opportunities that exist in other communities.

Thankfully, Senator Daines is fighting to bring broadband internet to rural Montana. Instead of sitting idly by, he recently sent a letter to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) asking for the regulatory barriers holding TV white spaces back to be removed.

TV white spaces refers to a technology that wirelessly delivers broadband connectivity to underserved communities by using vacant spectrum between broadcast television stations. Unfortunately, despite the fact this technology is working right here in Big Sky Country, regulatory barriers set in place by the FCC are hindering its widespread deployment and keeping rural Americans offline.

I am glad to have a senator in Washington who is taking action to bridge the digital divide, and I hope the FCC will consider the modest proposals raised in his letter.

Tim Stark of Billings

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