Introducing Grace Stephens, the new Federal Broadband lead for Montana

Hello from the National Telecommunications Information Administration (NTIA)!   I’m reaching out to share that I’ve recently joined the NTIA to serve as the Federal Program Officer for Montana. Some of you know me from my time at Yellowstone National Park, while others I have already had the pleasure of connecting with in my new position. This role is focused on advancing the mission of universal connectivity specifically through the NTIA BEAD Infrastructure and Digital Equity programs and I’m excited to have the opportunity to continue this critical work in partnership with the state and all of you.


As we continue this important effort, I want to call your attention to many upcoming opportunities you have to shape the deployment of $628 million in Broadband infrastructure funds throughout Montana. You can sign up for email updates here: MT updates


  1. Speed Tests: Through September 22nd, the Montana Broadband office has released an opportunity for MT residents to submit a speed test at This online test is an opportunity for the state to survey the public’s internet connectivity and affordability, and Montanans can report what type of service, if any, they are receiving. Speed tests can be taken as many times and in as many locations as residents wish to submit. The state will use this data to improve its map of unserved and underserved locations throughout the state. Improving this map will, in turn, increase the state’s ability to connect every Montanan with highspeed, reliable, affordable internet.

Montana by the numbers

Covered population: 890,500

Unserved Broadband Serviceable Locations: 104,534 (unserved is defined as an area with no coverage, or coverage at speeds below 25/3 Mbps)

Underserved Broadband Serviceable  Locations: 49,499 (underserved is defined as an area with coverage at speeds below 100/20 Mbps)


  1. Providing public comment: The Montana Communications Advisory Commission (CAC) meets monthly to discuss its progress in deploying the $628 million allocation MT received in Federal funds. All materials – agendas, slides, upcoming deliverables, and more – are posted to the website two weeks prior to each CAC meeting. The next CAC meeting is scheduled for October 11th. Past meeting materials are also online. Events ( The public is invited to comment at each meeting, either in person or via Zoom. And, almost all of the BEAD program deliverables are posted to the website for public comment thirty days prior to submission. The next deliverable that will be posted for public comment is the Initial Proposal Volume 2, which will describe how Montana intends to award projects to Internet Service Providers.


  1. Promote Digital Equity: Visit this site for resources and ideas to expand your digital inclusion efforts: Digital Inclusion Resources | BroadbandUSA (


  1. Visit Internet for All to learn about the once-in-a-generation investment the Biden-Harris administration is making to ensure every American has access to reliable, affordable, high speed internet. In total, Montana has received $1,064,097,772 through Internet for All programs:


BEAD: $628,973,799

Capital Projects Fund (CPF): $119,900,000

Tribal Broadband Connectivity Program (TBCP): $142,978,583

Reconnect Loan and Grant Program: $101,203,735

Enabling Middle Mile Broadband Infrastructure Programs: $11,756,500


Digital Equity

Emergency Connectivity Program/ARPA: $43,104,515

Digital Equity Act: $601,301



Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP): $15,579,339 (Apply here: ACP)


Stakeholder Engagement Resources

Please visit these pages for more great ways to get involved and engage effectively on the Bipartisan Infrastructure broadband programs:


I am so excited to be working throughout this state to make a fundamental difference in people’s lives. From improved access to healthcare to educational opportunities to the ability to work or start a business from home, I believe in this mission and in the transformative power of high speed Internet.


I welcome your questions and concerns. Please reach out!


Yours in partnership-

Grace Stephens

Grace Stephens 

Broadband Program Specialist–Montana

Federal Program Officer

Office of Internet Connectivity and Growth (OICG)

National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA)

U.S. Department of Commerce

[m] 202-893-4550 I [email protected]

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