BOZEMAN FIBER

Bozeman Fiber is a community-owned nonprofit network offering Gigabit fiber and a choice of providers and services.

OUR STORY

Bozeman Fiber Incorporated began development in 2015 after a City-led broadband planning study recommended that the city needed a modern Gigabit fiber network to support local businesses, attract new businesses, and help ensure economic growth. 

Bozeman Fiber is led by a board of community leaders dedicated to the idea that businesses and residents should have access to world class broadband and Internet, and should be able to choose from a variety of service providers offering a wide variety of services at competitive prices.

In addition to our bank partners, Bozeman Fiber would not have been possible without the generous support of many community focused organizations including the City of Bozeman, Bozeman Public Schools, Gallatin County, and the Downtown Bozeman Partnership.

ABOUT PHASE ONE

The first phase of the project is underway now, with construction of twenty-three miles of Gigabit fiber throughout the City scheduled for completion in early fall. The City, County, and K12 school facilities will be connected in mid-summer, and the first business customers will begin receiving services soon after.

Once the initial construction is complete and the first round of businesses are connected, Bozeman Fiber will begin planning for additional network segments throughout the City. The long range plan is to be able to offer Gigabit fiber connectivity to any home or business in the City that requests service.

MEET THE BOARD

Anthony Cochenour
President

Anthony has twenty years of network, telecommunications and software development experience.  In late 1997 he created a successful regional ISP, PrimeMedia, which served MT and WY and in 1999 became the CTO of BridgeBand Communications.  While at BridgeBand he led efforts to expand and deploy critical business-focused broadband infrastructure throughout MT, ID and WY.  In 2004 he took on the challenge of modernizing and expanding global data center and voice networks for RightNow Technologies in support of their CRM platforms.  In his tenure at RightNow he led efforts to deploy seven data centers and over a dozen international voice POPs which have since served billions of customer interactions globally.  In 2008 he accepted an engineering position with Cisco Systems providing design and implementation support for customers primarily in the western United States.  Since then, he has received numerous awards including Cisco’s Engineer of the Year in 2011.

For the past sixteen years he has maintained his status as a certified, court-recognized digital forensics expert specializing in Internet and communications-related cases.  He is an active member of the FBI’s InfraGard program, the Montana chapter of the ISSA and actively volunteers to help educate students and families on topics such as online safety and cyber bullying.  Most recently, Anthony founded Hoplite Industries, a cyber security company headquartered in Bozeman, MT.  Anthony holds a BS in Information Systems and actively maintains a number of top-tier IT industry certifications.


Brit Fontenot
Secretary

Brit is the Director of Economic Development for the City of Bozeman, Montana. He has worked for the Bozeman community for over a decade in various capacities – from City Clerk to Assistant to the City Manager.

Currently he is responsible for implementing the City’s economic development strategy of job creation and industry diversification. Brit engages both public and private sectors to collectively and creatively offer solutions to many of the pressing economic issues in and around Bozeman. Additionally, he provides support to local business by aiding in the navigation of various local regulatory processes.

Brit holds a B.A. degree in Political Science from the University of Louisiana in Lafayette and earned an M.A. in History from Montana State University in Bozeman, Montana.


Steve Johnson

Steve has been employed at Bozeman Public Schools since 1986, he is currently the Deputy Superintendent Operations. He is a native Montanan and graduate of Montana State University. Steve has been involved with governmental accounting his entire professional career, with the Montana Legislative Auditor, Helena Public Schools and Bozeman Public Schools. Steve is a member of the Montana Association of School Business Officials and has served as its President. Steve is also a past President of the Bozeman Area Chamber of Commerce and currently serves as a Green Coat Ambassador for the Bozeman Chamber. He received the Bozeman Area Chamber of Commerce Guy Sperry Award in 2009 for his service to the Chamber and the community of Bozeman.


Cheryl Ridgely

Ms Ridgely has more than 35 years of healthcare, business management, and consulting experience and has been a member of the Bozeman Health senior leadership team since May of 2003. In this capacity she is responsible for enterprise wide strategic planning, business development, market research and analysis, product/service positioning, marketing communications, public affairs, integrated business planning, land development/master planning, market expansions, facilities construction planning and real estate transaction oversight. Ms. Ridgely currently manages the operations and serves as a Director on the board of Bozeman Deaconess Real Estate Development Corporation, a subsidiary of Bozeman Health. Ms. Ridgely received a Bachelor of Science degree in Public Administration and Social Services from West Liberty University in West Virginia, and obtained Professional Teaching Certification in Secondary Education from Central Connecticut State University, School of Graduate Studies, New Britain, Connecticut In addition to serving on the board of Bozeman Fiber, Ms. Ridgely has non-profit governance experience having served on community boards including: Prospera Business Network, HRDC/Human Resources Development Council District IX; and is a member of the Bozeman School District Long Range Planning Committee, Northern Rocky Mountain Economic Development District, and is Vice Chair of the City of Bozeman Economic Development Council, serving from 2010 to present.


Bill Procunier

Bill Procunier is President and founder of Granite Enterprises, Inc. (2000), dba Granite Technology Solutions, Inc. Granite Technology Solutions specializes in providing professional technical consulting and support services in the areas of Information Technology, phone systems and low-voltage structured cabling, fiber optics and surveillance systems. Granite supports 600+ small and medium size businesses located primarily in Gallatin and Park counties of Montana.

Formerly, Bill was Vice President of the Systems Division for VLC/Powerhouse Technologies (purchased by Anchor Gaming/IGT). In this position, Bill was responsible for lottery and gaming machine control system product development, delivery and support in the United States and internationally. He holds Bachelor of Science degrees in Computer Science (U of M) and Business Management (MSU) and has 25+ years of product development and Information Technology support experience.


Jim Ness

Jim Ness was born and raised in Havre Montana. I graduated from Havre High School in 1982 and from Northern Montana College in 1987. I received a Bachelors degree in Business and a minor in Information Technology.

I started my banking career at US Bank in Havre while I was a freshman at Northern Montana College. In 1987, I began working at Three Rivers Bank in Kalispell as a junior lender. In 1990, I moved to Glacier Bank where I served in several production and management roles.

In September, 2013, I began working at Big Sky Western Bank in Bozeman as the Executive Vice President. I assumed the position of President in March of 2014 and currently hold that position.

While in Kalispell, I chaired the Board of the Kalispell area Chamber of Commerce and served as President of the Kalispell Downtown Association. I served on the board of the Gateway Community Center and also served on the Kalispell Police Commission where I held the position of secretary. I was on the board of the Samaritan House, the local homeless shelter, for 6 years where I served as board chair for two years. My involvement in the Bozeman community includes serving on the Board of the Bozeman Health Foundation where I serve as Secretary and chair the finance committee. I serve on Finance Committee of the YMCA and I am a member of the Gallatin College Advisory Board. I also serve on the boards of Prospera and Bozeman Fiber and I am a member of the Sunrise Rotary club.

I am married to my wonderful wife, Lori, and we have one daughter named Jaymie. Jaymie is married and lives in Kalispell.

I enjoy golfing, skiing, racquetball, running, biking, ping pong, playing guitar and spending time with my family.