FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr visited western Montana on Tuesday as the guest of Senator Steve Daines to learn about and review communications issues in a rural state like Montana.

After beginning the day at a wireless tower on Blackfoot Mountain, Daines hosted Barr at a local hospital to discuss the benefits of telehealth with local doctors and healthcare providers.

He then went to the U.S. Forest Service Fire Headquarters near the Missoula International Airport where firefighters and smokejumpers are using new technology to combat wildfires.

Carr addressed his purpose for the visit.

“Closing the digital divide, making sure that every community has a fair shot at next-generation connectivity is our top priority,” said Carr. “By getting out of D.C. we learn a lot about the challenges of bringing broadband to more rural parts of the country, but also finding solutions. We can take the ideas we learn on the road back to D.C. and enact some reforms. We’ve done that based on the trips I’ve made that have helped to bring about changes.”

Carr said visiting Montana is a vital step in that process.

“Whether you’re looking at jobs that are available in broadband or whether you’re looking at telehealth that are all available, the stakes are too high,” he said. “We’re making really good progress. We’re closing the digital divide. Internet speeds are up and more broadband is being built out than ever before, but there are still lots of communities where we have work to do.”

Carr praised Senator Daines for being a leader in promoting technology in Montana, pushing expanding rural broadband on the floor of the U.S. Senate.

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