The Montana Public Service Commission approved companies to receive a large sum of money for broadband services this week, PSC Communications Director Bowen Greenwood explains.

"The Public Service Commission voted to re-certify about 20 or so Montana telecommunication providers to receive about $110 million in federal aid for expanding broadband access in rural Montana," Greenwood said.

Greenwood said the decision on whether to create new broadband access or to maintain current access was up to the individual service providers, of which there are many.

"There are approximately 20 broadband carriers and they do kind of stretch from one end of the state to the other," Greenwood said. "Some great examples are Blackfoot Telephone Cooperative, Ronan Telephone Company, Hot Springs Telephone Company and you know it stretches all the way over to the other side of the state with Nemont Telephone Company."

Though all five commissioners were present for the decision, Commissioner Roger Koopman chose to abstain from approving the grant money saying “I disagree that there’s a market failure. We need to be a little more imaginative about what freedom and free people can accomplish.”

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