(Missoula, MT) – On October 20th, Blackfoot Communications CEO Jason Williams was elected Chair of USTelecom’s board of Directors, one of the largest and most effective broadband associations in the nation. Previously, Williams served as board vice chair, advocating for public policy benefitting connectivity of rural communities across the country.
“I am honored to chair USTelecom’s board of directors and look forward to working closely with the USTelecom community to ensure that universal connectivity is not just a vision but a reality,” said Jason Williams, CEO. “And I am proud to be a voice for Montana at the national level as we work to close the digital divide, bringing high-speed internet to every corner of our state and country.”
USTelecom represents network providers, innovators, suppliers, and manufacturers connecting the world through the power of broadband. USTelecom’s advocacy is more critical than ever as Congress makes record investments in bringing broadband infrastructure into the 21st century.
Congress passed the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) and Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJJA) in 2021 that included funding to connect rural communities to high-speed internet. Montana was awarded $937 million in grant funding from this legislation which is administered by the State of Montana.
In 2022, Blackfoot Communications was awarded seven grants from the ARPA-funded ConnectMT program supporting $76 million in construction projects to bring fiber-based, high-speed internet to rural communities throughout Western Montana. Blackfoot Communications began construction in Philipsburg and Plains in 2023 and begins work in Drummond and Darby in 2024. The projected completion of all ConnectMT projects is by end of 2025.
The USTelecom Board of Directors is primarily responsible for setting association policy, exploring potential strategic initiatives of USTelecom’s committees, and serving as the “voice” of the association.