Missoula, MT (KGVO-AM News) - State Senator Ken Bogner of Miles City is pressing the Montana Congressional delegation to remove Chinese Communist Party affiliated telecommunications equipment from the state’s infrastructure, especially from sensitive areas of the state.

I spoke with Bogner about the effort and why it’s important to get this equipment removed as soon as possible.

Senator Bogner is Concerned that Chinese Tech is inside Sensitive Montana Systems

“During this last session I passed the bill to prohibit foreign adversaries like China from buying our critical infrastructure and our land,” began Bogner. “I'm continuing to look at how we can strengthen that law here in Montana and at the federal level.”

Part of that effort includes getting that equipment out of federally sensitive technology.

“While doing my research, I started to see that Congress wasn't fulfilling what they had promised in their Secure and Trusted Communications Networks Act of 2019, in which they funded a ‘rip and replace’ policy to remove all the Chinese Communist Party affiliated companies components that were in our telecommunications across the country.”

Bogner Says the Federal Government Has Forgotten to Protect Montana

Bogner said so far the federal government has neglected the sensitive infrastructure here in Montana.

“They funded the big large telecommunications companies, but not the small rural telecommunication companies, which in places like Montana and Wyoming are what covers the rural areas where a lot of our military installations are, so I sent a letter to our congressional delegation here in Montana, asking them to fully fund that program and to finish the rip and replace here in Montana.”

Bogner Remembered the Chinese Spy Balloon over Montana

Since the act was passed, we all remember the Chinese spy balloon that hovered over Malmstrom Air Force Base, and Bogner is insisting that the federal government finish the job and protect Montana’s sensitive infrastructure.


“I mean, it’s been five years since it's been enacted, and every day we hear more and more details about places like China that are trying to spy on us,” he said. “If we can get the majority of our congressional delegation to back this, I'd love to see that the resources are allocated as soon as possible to get the infrastructure up to par; how the act was supposed to be when it was passed in 2019.”

In a letter to Senator Steve Daines, Representatives Zinke, and Rosendale, Bogner wrote: ‘I urge you to protect the security of the United States and Montana by following through to get Chinese Communist Party telecommunications equipment removed and replaced from Montana’s phone and internet infrastructure.”

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