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Broadband Service in Montana

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Internet Access in Montana

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Coverage by County

Montana Interactive SVG Map showing broadband coverage by county.
72.4%
72.4% TERRESTRIAL BROADBAND COVERAGE
0.7%
0.7% POPULATION UNDERSERVED

47.6

50th

Broadband Speeds

70.5%

of Montanans have access to broadband 100mbps or faster.

5.5%

of Montanans have access to 1 gigabit broadband.

Wired Coverage

96.5%

of Montanans have access to wireline service.

20.1%

of Montanans have access to fiber-optic service.

64.6%

of Montanans have access to cable service.

91.6%

of Montanans have access to DSL service.

Largest Competing Providers In Montana

Coverage by County in Montana

County Name % Broadband Coverage
Beaverhead 81.0%
Big Horn 53.0%
Blaine 96.9%
Broadwater 10.7%
Carbon 35.8%
Carter 53.6%
Cascade 90.2%
Chouteau 99.3%
Custer 93.5%
Daniels 99.2%
Dawson 90.3%
Deer Lodge 78.2%
Fallon 80.0%
Fergus 84.9%
Flathead 77.4%
Gallatin 87.4%
Garfield 47.7%
Glacier 61.0%
Golden Valley 92.7%
Granite 24.1%
Hill 97.1%
Jefferson 48.7%
Judith Basin 84.6%
Lake 77.8%
Lewis and Clark 90.4%
Liberty 85.0%
Lincoln 22.0%
McCone 48.3%
Madison 70.2%
Meagher 99.4%
Mineral 29.7%
Missoula 90.7%
Musselshell 52.3%
Park 56.7%
Petroleum 42.3%
Phillips 84.5%
Pondera 33.8%
Powder River 59.1%
Powell 54.5%
Prairie 61.5%
Ravalli 66.0%
Richland 86.2%
Roosevelt 79.2%
Rosebud 65.2%
Sanders 30.1%
Sheridan 86.8%
Silver Bow 90.1%
Stillwater 62.9%
Sweet Grass 92.7%
Teton 30.1%
Toole 41.7%
Treasure 69.9%
Valley 82.7%
Wheatland 100.0%
Wibaux 7.4%
Yellowstone 94.7%

Internet Speed in Top Montana Cities

City Avg. Download Speed No. of Providers
1. Billings 57.7 MBPS 14 Providers
2. Missoula 57.5 MBPS 15 Providers
3. Great Falls 43.9 MBPS 13 Providers
4. Bozeman 56.1 MBPS 15 Providers
5. Helena 39.7 MBPS 13 Providers

Speeds for Major Providers in Montana

Provider Avg. Download Speed
Charter Spectrum 72.1 MBPS
CenturyLink 18.1 MBPS
MontanaSky Networks 12.0 MBPS
Montana Internet Corporation 11.3 MBPS
WispWest.net 10.0 MBPS

The State of Broadband in Montana, 2020

Written by the BroadbandNow team. Last updated 9/1/2020.

In comparison to the other fifty States, Montana is ranked nearly dead last in terms of internet access. The low amount of broadband infrastructure can likely be attributed to the fact that Montana has a great deal of rural and wilderness areas as well as a relatively low population despite its large geographic size. To put this in perspective, Montana has roughly the same population as Rhode Island. Montana’s average statewide download speed is 81.4 Mbps, but coverage remains spotty throughout the state.

The Digital Divide in Montana

As with the rest of the world, not all Montana residents have equal access to the internet. This creates a ‘digital divide’ between those who have access to a reasonably priced high-speed internet service and those who do not. Considering two important factors will aid in gauging the technological gap that exists between residents living in different parts of Montana; availability and affordability.

There are 120 internet providers operating in Montana. While 77.9% of Montanans have access to wired broadband with download speeds of 25mbps, there remain 203,000 people in Montana without access to a wired connection capable of these speeds. Additionally, 205,000 residents only have one internet provider to choose from, leaving them with no options in the case they are dissatisfied with their provider or would like to change to another plan. Another 36,000 people do not have any wired internet providers offering service at their home address.

At this time, a mere 0.7% (less than 7,500) of Montana’s residents have access to a wired broadband plan that costs $60 or less per month, according to the latest affordability data.

Best-Connected Cities

Still, some cities in Montana are remarkably well-connected, with some areas even offering gigabit broadband coverage. When it comes to speed, price, and availability, the best ranking cities in Montana with the highest-ranking listed first are Billings, Great Falls, Kalispell, Missoula, Butte.

Worst-Connected Cities

At the other end of the spectrum, the worst-connected towns in Montana are Otter, Angela, Ingomar, Saltese, and Silver Gate, with the latter being the lowest-ranking.

See how Montana’s connectivity compares with other States nationwide here.

Governmental Initiatives

Montana has been the beneficiary of a variety of federal grants aimed at improving the State’s broadband infrastructure. From 2010-2014, the Montana Department of Commerce was awarded $6,084,826 to help form Montana Broadband Program with a focus on supporting expanded internet acAngelacess, especially in rural and tribal areas of the State.

Other programs, such as the Broadband for Montana Schools Program and Broadband Technologies Opportunities Program have aimed at helping schools and public libraries gain access to better internet with the objective of enriching education and employment opportunities.

The above information has been curated from a mix of public and private datasets. Find out more about our data here.

Sources: Data collected via the FCC, NTIA, and other sources. For a full list of data sources please visit our data page.

Montana Cities

Average speed over time
Anaconda 80.5% 11 providers
Belgrade 88.8% 12 providers
Bigfork 78.6% 10 providers
Billings 97.6% 14 providers
Bozeman 96.3% 15 providers
Browning 59.4% 7 providers
Butte 91.2% 13 providers
Clancy 91.6% 11 providers
Columbia Falls 85.2% 10 providers
Columbus 51.9% 13 providers
Corvallis 82.6% 13 providers
Cut Bank 75.6% 9 providers
Deer Lodge 60.9% 8 providers
Dillon 80.5% 8 providers
East Helena 84.0% 10 providers
Eureka 74.9% 6 providers
Florence 92.8% 12 providers
Glasgow 91.4% 6 providers
Glendive 91.5% 7 providers
Great Falls 93.2% 13 providers
Hamilton 81.5% 12 providers
Hardin 18.4% 9 providers
Havre 96.6% 9 providers
Helena 92.0% 13 providers
Kalispell 82.9% 11 providers
Laurel 91.5% 12 providers
Lewistown 90.3% 9 providers
Libby 0.0% 7 providers
Livingston 74.0% 9 providers
Lolo 93.2% 10 providers
Manhattan 45.5% 12 providers
Miles City 95.3% 9 providers
Missoula 96.8% 15 providers
Polson 91.3% 10 providers
Ronan 96.2% 9 providers
Roundup 53.7% 8 providers
Shelby 40.7% 9 providers
Sidney 94.3% 8 providers
Stevensville 51.4% 12 providers
Townsend 14.9% 9 providers
Whitefish 84.1% 11 providers
Wolf Point 77.2% 6 providers
Last Updated on 9/1/2020.