The Digital Divide: Perception & Reality

Our General Manager/CEO attended the Montana High Tech Jobs Summit earlier this month in Missoula, where attendees heard from speakers including FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn and Microsoft's President & Chief Legal Officer Brad Smith.  The overwhelming theme of the event was the importance of broadband services, and the perception that most of Montana - especially…Read more The Digital Divide: Perception & Reality

Saving Rural America

I want to share with you today a great article that really describes WHY we do what we do everyday at Mid-Rivers, why we are building broadband in our rural communities as fast as we can, and why this month we will also be awarding $35,000 in grants to our rural communities. The Digital Spring: …Read more Saving Rural America

Is the US ready for 5G? Nope – not according to Fortune

A good answer to questions you may have about 5G and rural areas.

Blandin on Broadband

I’ve written before about 5G. It’s going to be fast. Although not a standard yet we’re see examples of how it’s working in urban areas. BUT it’s not a realistic option for rural area. I thought I’d share the most recent discussion from Fortune

However, the U.S. is not as well-prepared to capitalize on this opportunity [5G]. The U.S does not currently have sufficient fiber to densify the network with thousands of new small cells and hot spots, increase network capacity, and accommodate the projected four-fold growth in data traffic through 2021. Investment in “deep fiber” pushed closer to the customer could help the U.S. continue to lead in wireless innovation and foster the economic boost generated by 5G.

Investing in fiber will help prepare for 5G and close the urban-rural broadband gap…

Investing in deep fiber as we upgrade our nation’s communications infrastructure creates an opportunity…

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Wi-Fi? Data? Internet? WTH?

Through all the extra contact we've had with customers this week thanks to "Unlimited" data suddenly not being so unlimited (who knew, right?  See this post, last paragraph), one big take-away was that it's not always easy to understand where your "data access" comes from.  As long my phone says I'm connected and my Facebook…Read more Wi-Fi? Data? Internet? WTH?

Fairness, Customer Experience, & Rural Broadband

Mid-Rivers' revolutionary Wide Open Internet service was recently featured in the national industry publication Telecompetitor.  That level of exposure always comes with a certain amount of skepticism from the outside world, where corporate for-profit Internet Service Providers are public enemy #1 and there are those who believe the Internet is - or should be -…Read more Fairness, Customer Experience, & Rural Broadband

Feeding You Fiber

Our Mid-Rivers construction crew and two contractors have been installing fiber cable at a rapid pace this summer, which is one of the few positive things that comes out of having little to no moisture all year.  Our own crew is nearing completion of a Fiber to the Premise (FTTP) build-out in the town of…Read more Feeding You Fiber

Broadband changes lives. So who is responsible to making sure we all have access?

A great question and a proven answer that is a working model in Eastern Montana as well. We’re not there yet, but we’re making progress every day thanks to the Cooperative model.

Blandin on Broadband

Yesterday I read about Verizon cutting off a lot of power users. Ars Technica reports

Verizon Wireless said it is disconnecting a small group of customers who use vast amounts of data in rural areas where Verizon relies on roaming agreements with smaller network operators.

“Earlier this month we notified a small group of customers who are out of contract and primarily use mobile data on other wireless companies’ networks that we won’t be their service provider after July 30, 2017,” a Verizon spokesperson told Ars today. “This only affects a few people who primarily roam on other networks and does not affect customers who primarily use Verizon’s own network.”

The customers who are affected “are using vast amounts of data—some as much as a terabyte or more a month—outside of our network footprint,” the company said. Verizon gave the customers several weeks’ notice so they have time to…

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