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New high-speed Internet service comes to Billings

Ziply Fiber, a Washington state company, is bringing optic fiber to Montana
Ziply Fiber powerlines
Posted at 3:56 PM, Jun 19, 2024

BILLINGS — If you've driven down Third Street past Pioneer Park this week, you might be wondering what all the commotion is about.

The orange tubes and traffic cones mean underground lines are being installed to bring what one company says will be faster and more reliable internet coverage to Billings residents.

Ziply Fiber traffic cones
Ziply Fiber traffic cones

As of June 17, Ziply Fiber, a Washington state-based Internet service provider, has been installing routers across the city. Although the new change may seem sudden, it has actually been in the plan for a while.

"It started many months ago. We meet with the city. We talk through permits and pole attachments and get everything set up. Then we really start the construction work. That's a mix of actually putting the network up on telephone poles and into the ground," says Ryan Luckin, Ziply's vice president of marketing.

Luckin says that although Ziply is not a Montana company, the company is excited to be here.

"We'll be here in the community," he said.

Ziply Fiber Construction on Powerline
Ziply Fiber Construction on Powerline

Currently, over 19,000 Billings residents have already switched over to Ziply and over 2,500 routers will be ready for service next week, according to a Ziply press release.

Some have switched from other local providers, such as Spectrum or Verizon, because of cheaper prices and accessibility, according to Ziply. For instance, Ziply says it starts at $20/month and offers discounted prices for low-income or tribal households.

What makes Ziply so unique, according to the company, is its symmetrical speed technology, which means the download speed is the same as the upload speed. This may be beneficial for hybrid or at-home workers, Luckin said.

"That's a game changer with fiber," says Luckin.

Some Billings residents are ready for another option.

"I feel like it's bad when one company takes over the whole market," said Madison Sostrom. "It'll be nice to have options and have other prices to look at."

"It would be great to have more choices," said Jodi Breakenridge. "It would be nice to have an alternative."

You can check your area's availability by visiting their website.