The Pacific Northwest Rural Broadband Alliance, a Missoula-based nonprofit co-op is bringing high-speed internet service to Lake County
When the pandemic hit last year, the limitations of rural internet service became immediately apparent. With multiple family members going online for schooling, telemedicine and work, many households found their networks too slow to provide all the service they needed all at once.
A local, user-owned internet cooperative being spearheaded by Mission West Community Development Partners could soon significantly improve that situation.
The Pacific Northwest Rural Broadband Alliance, a Missoula-based nonprofit, is helping communities set up neighbor-to-neighbor wireless internet systems for local broadband at speeds that can handle whatever a family or business needs, even far off the beaten path. They have developed a successful network of this type in the Grant Creek area north of Missoula, proving the system can offer at least 100 mbps for both upload and download speeds affordably. They will soon expand that system as far as Hamilton, Frenchtown and Bonner.
Residents interested in the Mission Valley Internet Co-op can pre-register at althea.net/polson.
by CAROLYN HIDY
Lake County Leader |
The NACo Broadband Task Force, as appointed by President Gary Moore of Kentucky, was chartered with the premise that “if you can’t connect… you can’t compete.” It is the equity issue of our hour.
It’s our hope that Montana’s congressional delegation stands up for rural communities. It would be a darn shame if Congress were to send critical resources to America’s largest cities while the rural divide grows in places like Montana. Prioritize rural broadband.