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Competition heats up for high-speed internet providers in Great Falls

Great Falls has two new high-speed internet options: TDS and Ziply
TDS Telecom Ribbon Cutting.png
Posted at 9:59 AM, Jun 25, 2024

TDS Telecom held a ribbon cutting ceremony Monday evening for their new Great Falls retail store where residents and business owners will be able to access TDS servies and meet with associates.

TDS officially launched service in Great Falls in December of last year, and has plans to invest $75 million dollars into their Great Falls market as construction of their fiber network lines continues to provide high speed internet, TV, and phone service to the community. During the ceremony, TDS also presented the Great Falls Area Community Foundation with a $1,000 donation to support local nonprofits.

TDS Chief Operating Officer Shane West says, “Montana is the third fastest growing state in the country and has the third slowest Internet speeds of any state in the country. And so companies like TDS are bringing fiber Internet to Great Falls and Montana to improve the lives of its residents. We're actually starting to do some of the construction on our own with local Great Falls residents, which has been really important. The network is turning out to be a Great Falls by Great Falls kind of internet network and we're very proud of it.”

Fiber optic internet connections provide higher internet speeds and reliability.

West explains, “I often talk about when you think about your Internet speeds, there's a download speed, but nobody thinks about the upload speed. Upload is the speed that what you're doing on your computer or your device goes back out to somebody else. Fiber internet has symmetric speeds, which means it comes in as fast as it goes out. It's great for gamers, it's great for work from home associates. Really allows different ways to use the Internet than you might be used to with cable or DSL.” Businesses and residents in Montana now have more options of service providers to suit their specific needs.

The new TDS retail store is located at 415 Third Street NW, Suite 102 in Great Falls.

TDS is one of two new fiber internet options now in the area, with Ziply also bringing its fiber network to Great Falls.

Ziply Fiber spokesman Ryan Luckin explained, "We've expanded to 130 new markets, we've brought fiber or fiber network in, and Montana is next. We're uniquely in the northwest, so we operate in Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Montana."

Ziply is working to cover several Montana communities, including Great Falls, Billings, Helena, Butte, and Missoula.

Luckin said, "Construction will extend a little bit into the summer, but at the end of the day, we'll be almost 10,000 addresses here in Great Falls that we're going to serve with fiber.

In addition to those recent entrants into the Great Falls area, another provider is currently expanding its high-speed internet service.

KDS, which has been operating in the community since 2007, is deploying fiber optic internet service and working to expand its footprint. It currently serves areas primarily south and southwest of Great Falls.

For more information: click here to visit the TDS website; click here for the Ziply website; click here for the KDS website.

Ziply is bringing fiber internet to Great Falls