When a U.S. senator from a rural town raises concerns about insufficient broadband service, it’s natural to question the politician’s motives.
When a study reveals Montana has the second-slowest internet service of all 50 states, it supports the senator’s claims.
“U.S. Senator Jon Tester is stressing the need to close the digital divide in rural communities that lack broadband access, without the unnecessary spending of taxpayer dollars,” a recent press release issued by Tester’s office stated.
Meanwhile, a report from HighSpeedInternet.com ranks Montana second only to Alaska as having the slowest internet rates in the nation.
Analysts at HighSpeedInternet.com reportedly examined data from 3 million speed-test tool results and took the average internet speed of every state in the nation. It then ranked them from fastest to slowest based on average megabits per second (Mbps).
Bottom 5 States:
50. Alaska (20.6 Mbps)
49. Montana (30.1 Mbps)
48. Maine (30.8 Mbps)
46. Idaho (30.9 Mbps)
45. Wyoming (33.3 Mbps)
Top 5 States:
1. Maryland (84.1 Mbps)
2. Delaware (80.9 Mbps)
3. New Jersey (76.3 Mbps)
4. D.C. (75.2 Mbps)
5. Virginia (74.5 Mbps)
What do the top states have in common? The Pentagon, major universities and high-profile politicians.
Regardless of why some states have faster internet and broadband speeds, U.S. Sen. Tester is taking issue with Montana’s low ranking.
According to a press release, Sen. Tester questioned broadband association officials about “the effectiveness of industry, legislative, and Federal Communications Commission (FCC) measures” in providing adequate broadband service to states like Montana, particularly during a global health crisis.
“If there’s one thing this pandemic has pointed out, it’s that we need high-speed internet, we need good cell service,” said Tester. “Otherwise we don’t have health care that can be distanced, we don’t have tele-education when schools are out.”
The senator has a point, particularly as K–12 education and government agencies move toward online learning and providing essential services due to the COVID-19 crisis.
Tester has been critical of the FCC’s spending after a series of unfulfilled promises to bring broadband to rural areas like those in Montana.
Whether he’s right or not, Montana’s recent low ranking among states with the slowest internet speeds gives credence to Sen. Tester’s claims.
For the full report on Montana’s low ranking visit: https://www.highspeedinternet.com/tools/speed-test#map