The residents of the Bitterroot Valley in Western Montana are in for the best internet access the country has to offer.
Back in 2017 the founders of Grizzly Broadband had a vision to bring fiber to the whole Bitterroot Valley of Western Montana. This vision started with an acquisition of a long standing Wireless Internet Service Provider (WISP) and has progressed forward with the sale of Grizzly Broadband to Ravalli Electric Cooperative mid 2021. This sale was in an effort to make the desired reality of fiber to the home become a reality sooner then later.
2022 has afforded the opportunity to build fiber fast with the opening of the Connect MT grant program funded by $266 million from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). In April of 2022 Grizzly applied for 6 projects areas which would bring fiber to the home to the majority of Ravalli County.
After much anticipated wait the answer to the Grizzly applications were given out on December 7th, 2022. The Connect MT Communications Advisory Commission has recommended that Grizzly Broadband be approved for 100% of 4 of the project areas and 25% of a 5th. (delineated by the map below)
Ok so, What does this mean? It means that after Governor Gianforte signs and the contracts are fully ratified construction will be able to commence over the construction seasons (Mid-March to Mid November) of 2023, 2024, 2025 and 2026 Grizzly will be constructed an all fiber to the home network to serve the residents of the Bitterroot Valley. Each project area will take about a construction season to complete. Grizzly will be posting frequent updates to this blog site with areas they are working on each week. Right now on the map it is noted the estimated year that a project will be completed in. These are subject to change slightly but all work on this will be completed by the end of 2026.
Grizzly and REC are both excited to bring the best internet the bitterroot has ever seen to it customers and members. Have a Happy Holiday season and watch for future updates after the first of the 2023 year!