Mid-Rivers accepted a new Universal Service Funding (USF) offer and a new associated build-out obligation in late 2023, providing revenue certainty for the next 15 years and allowing us to cut the timeline nearly in half for the remaining rural fiber build-out.

The new Enhanced A-CAM support program includes an historic 100% build-out obligation in our traditional rural service areas, with an aggressive deadline of December 31, 2028.  This presents a significant task, requiring a minimum of 800 miles per year of fiber construction for the next five years – about 150 miles per year MORE than we have done in a single year to date.  With the contractor relationships we have spent years developing, and the efforts we have made to keep plenty of fiber on hand, we believe we can meet the requirements.

Fiber build obligation mapThis graphic provides a general idea of the massive scope of our obligation, spread across 30,000 square miles of some of the most remote areas of Montana. With an estimated annual capital budget of $30-$35 million, this accelerated fiber plan has already begun, and will follow the tentative schedule below to reach the remaining rural locations in these exchange areas:

  • 2024 – Grass Range, Roy, Ekalaka & Linsday
  • 2025 – Plevna, Richey, & Circle
  • 2026 – Circle
  • 2027 – Rock Springs & Jordan
  • 2028 – Winnett & Melstone

Project plans are tentative and may change based on permitting or right-of-way delays in any area. Crews will also be going back to locations in previously built exchanges to ensure the 100% build-out obligation is met.

Mid-Rivers’ own Engineering crew will be coming to landowners in these areas for right-of-way access to get you fiber services and Unlimited broadband. We appreciate your cooperation in helping us meet these buildout requirements.  Our employees will contact landowners and make personal visits at your convenience, to discuss your preferences on proposed routes and other requests. We want to be sure to approach our build-out in a manner that respects your property rights and your wishes as a landowner.  Stay tuned in these areas for calls from Radley, Eric, Shannon, or Dan!

Top photo by Megan Greenwalt