To: Darryl James, Executive Director, Montana Infrastructure Coalition
Thank you for contacting me about internet service in Montana, and the importance of staying connected during the COVID-19 outbreak. I am fighting to slow the spread of the virus and to ensure that Montanans receive the support they need during these uncertain times.
COVID-19 has disrupted daily American life. Now more than ever, it is critically important for Montana to have reliable access to high-speed internet. That’s why I voted for the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act (H.R. 748). This bill includes $100 million for the ReConnect program, an initiative to increase high-speed internet access in rural areas. The CARES Act also included $50 million for the Institute of Museum and Library Services to expand digital network access in areas of the country where such access is lacking.
I also am pushing Senate leadership to pass my bipartisan bill, the Keeping Critical Connections Act (S. 3569). This bill would establish a fund to compensate rural broadband providers for offering free or discounted services to families who are struggling to keep up with their bills due to the COVID-19 outbreak. This legislation would help students in rural areas stay on top of their education as they transition to online learning and allow families to stay connected as more Montanans stay home. To see what resources are available in your area, visit the Federal Communications Commission:https://www.fcc.gov/keep-
I will continue to fight for the needs of Montanans as we work through this unprecedented situation. Please don’t hesitate to contact me again if I can be of further assistance.
United States Senator