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Montana public K-12 schools can now apply for funding to boost access to high-speed broadband

August 1, 2017View for printing

School leaders -

Governor Steve Bullock today announced that public K-12 schools can now apply for funding to boost access to high-speed broadband, giving schools the ability to develop 21st century classrooms and providing students with more digital learning tools.

Schools can now apply for funding made possible through House Bill 390, creating a state match to leverage broadband funds available through the FCC's E-rate program. This fund will enable schools to upgrade their broadband to facilitate digital learning in the classroom. HB 390 provides K-12 schools with $2 million in funding over the next two years to upgrade their broadband infrastructure. When leveraged with FCC E-rate program funds and local funding HB 390 could trigger up to $20 million in much-needed broadband investment for schools.

With Governor Bullock's support and assistance from the nonprofit EducationSuperHighway, Montana has helped school districts statewide make significant upgrades in the past few years. In 2016, 15,762 students in Montana were connected to high-speed broadband and 118 school districts upgraded their broadband.

For more information, and to apply for the matching funds visit: http://comdev.mt.gov/Programs/Broadband Interested K-12 public schools leaders can email staff directly at DOCBroadband@mt.gov or call 406-841-2770 regarding any questions about the Broadband for Montana Schools Program.

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