Great Falls schools are getting a dedicated fiber network

Tom Hering
Posted at 6:50 AM, May 24, 2022

GREAT FALLS — Great Falls Public Schools is getting a high tech upgrade, as installation of a dedicated fiber network for the school district is underway.

When the work is complete in the summer of 2022, the district office building will be able to provide network, internet, and phone service to all district buildings.

The district currently is leasing fiber service from a service provider.

The district’s IT director, Tom Hering, says having a dedicated network will bring the district’s cost down from about $23,000 a month to about $6,500 a month.

"We've been fortunate. We've been talking about this for about five years and it just finally got to the point where the environment is right for it,” Hering explained.

The majority of the school district's share of the cost of the work - about 20% - will be paid for with COVID relief funds. The majority of the overall cost of the work - about 80% - will be paid for through the federal E-Rate program the district is working with.