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After Missoula County accepted an application for a franchise agreement from TDS Telecommunications, the Internet service provider has made official its plans to construct an all-fiber network in Missoula and Lolo.

The new network will mark the fourth and fifth Montana communities to receive TDS service, which boasts fast and reliable internet speeds, according to the company.

“Fiber networks are in high demand, and we are delighted to bring our resilient and highly reliable network to Missoula and Lolo and to provide residents with this state-of-the-art technical upgrade,” Andrew Petersen, TDS senior vice president of corporate affairs said in a statement. “Not only will the homes in the Garden City be technologically ready for today, but for years to come.”

Missoula County in April accepted the company's application for a cable franchise, following actions taken by the city back in November.

TDS said it will connect more than 35,000 homes and businesses in the greater Missoula area with its fiber network. Once running, the company will also provide all-digital TV service, TV+ and a variety of phone options for residential and business customers.

Based in Madison, Wisconsin, the company is currently building a fiber network in Billings, where it will connect more than 50,000 homes and businesses. It also has announced fiber projects in Helena and Great Falls.

TDS will compete with Spectrum in Missoula. That company in April won the backing of Missoula County in its application for funding from the Connect MT grant. Blackfoot Communications is also expected to compete for funding.

The grant from the American Rescue Plan provided Montana $266 million to expand broadband service to unserved areas of the state.

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