The Mid-Rivers 2021 capital budget for rural fiber broadband is a record $20 million dollars.
Mid-Rivers’ 2021 fiber plans in Central Montana include completion of a rural project south of Roundup passing about 400 locations with 135 miles of fiber. A project in North Ryegate will follow, constructing 150 miles of fiber to about 50 subscribers.
Eastern Montana plans are to construct 620 miles of rural fiber on several projects. These routes will include 300 locations in Dawson County, 180 in northern McCone, and 300 west of Sidney. These areas were moved up from the original 2023-2024 schedule.
As the pandemic has proven, a reliable, quality Internet connection is an essential utility. Extending quality connections into rural areas is more important than ever. Mid-Rivers has chosen to focus on fiber to the premise (FTTP) for broadband deployment to make the best long-term use of the members’ investment and one-time Federal support dollars.
Technicians are also continuing to move subscriber locations built in 2020 to fiber in the rural Baker and Roundup areas. The Cooperative has built fiber to nearly 6,500 new locations since 2014, with plans to get to at least 4,000 more over the next several years. The remaining locations are all in rural and remote areas.