Apply to Broadband for Montana Schools in 3 Easy Steps:
- Complete the 3-page Broadband for Montana Schools program application. All the information we need is on your FCC Form 470.
- Have your Superintendent or authorized individual complete and sign the resolution to authorize submission of your application.
- Mail the completed application to: Broadband for Montana Schools Program | Community Development Division | P.O. Box 200523 | Helena, MT 59620-0523 OR submit electronically via email@example.com.
About Broadband for Montana Schools
The Broadband for Montana Schools Program will enable schools to upgrade their broadband, boosting access to high-speed Internet and providing students with more digital learning tools.
Made possible through House Bill 390, Broadband for Montana Schools provides a state match to leverage broadband funds available through the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) E-rate program for Montana’s public K-12 schools.
Schools can now access $2 million in funding over the next two years to upgrade their broadband infrastructure. When leveraged with FCC E-rate program funds and local funding HB 390 could trigger up to $20 million in much-needed broadband investment for schools.
The Department of Commerce is working with E-rate consultants to assist school leaders with the application for the Broadband for Montana Schools Program and the FCC E-rate Program.
Interested K-12 public schools, districts, and consortia can email staff at DOCBroadband@mt.gov or call 406.841.2770 regarding any questions about the Broadband for Montana Schools Program.
Frequently Asked Questions
The application is difficult to complete.
The Broadband for Montana Schools application is very brief and can be completed in less than 30 minutes. We have Department of Commerce staff or consultants available to walk you through the entire process, at no cost to you.
Can my rural school get this funding?
All Montana K-12 public schools, districts and consortia are eligible to apply, regardless of where your school or district is located. Applicants will be prioritized based on rurality, level of poverty, bandwidth per student and cost of megabyte per second/month (Mbps) for students.
I don’t know anything about how to improve Internet speeds for my students. Where do I start?
That’s OK, we can handle the technical stuff. Department of Commerce staff and E-rate consultants available to walk you through the services your school needs, what’s possible for your school, and how Broadband for Montana Schools can help.
Doesn’t the FCC need to approve our funding before I can apply to the state?
As soon as you have submitted the FCC’s Form 470 (step one) and received a response, you may submit your completed state application to be considered for a share of Broadband for Montana Schools’ $2 million.
My community will never get fiber, applying to Broadband for Montana Schools and having upgraded services are not cost effective for our school.
We know that more than 100 Montana schools don’t have access to fiber, but it’s worthwhile to apply for funding because other broadband upgrades may be eligible for funding, and the state funding is only available for a limited time.
If my school submits an application to the Broadband for Montana Schools program that has missing or incorrect information, will the application be rejected and I have to start all over?
No, if an application is submitted that lacks information or has inconsistencies, staff will contact your school to clarify details and have a complete application.