Your ISP vs Yellowstone Fiber – What’s the Difference Between Them?

Have you ever wondered why have to choose an ISP to work with when you sign up with Yellowstone Fiber? If you have, you are not alone! We often get questions about why we work with ISPs instead of providing internet services ourselves, and what the difference is between what we do and what our ISPs to. So let’s walkthrough the differences between what we do, what our ISPs do, and who to contact if you have questions!

Open Access Network
The first thing you need to know is why we partner with ISPs to provide internet services, instead of providing them ourselves. This is because we are an open-access network. This means that we can have multiple ISPs use our infrastructure to provide services. Our open-access network functions a lot like an airport. Just like how an airport provides the runways, gates, and terminals for the different airlines to use, we provide the fiber infrastructure for Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to use to provide internet services. While it may seem inconvenient sometimes to have two companies to interact with instead of one, our open access model with several ISPs helps to increase competition and keeps high-speed internet connection costs down.

Your Internet Service Provider (ISP) 
Now let’s talk about what your Internet Service Provider (ISP) does. Your ISP is the one who will provide you with that actual speed and access to the internet that you are familiar with. Your ISP will be the one who manages your internet speeds and other services you receive from them. A good way of looking at it is that your ISP is the product manufacturer, and our fiber infrastructure is the road they use to get their product to you. Our infrastructure provides them with the ability to connect to you and the potential to provide the speeds that they do. We currently have 3 ISPs on our network for you to choose from, and they are all unique in the prices and services they offer. You can learn more about them and the services they offer by checking out our Residential Pricing page.

We love providing the fiber infrastructure and working with so many different ISPs to get you connected to fiber-fast internet, but we understand the confusion that working with two companies to provide your internet connection can cause. Let’s break down how working with Yellowstone Fiber and your ISP to get you connected works! 

Since Yellowstone Fiber and your ISP are two separate companies you will have 2 bills every month. 1 to Yellowstone Fiber and 1 to your ISP. The bill from Yellowstone Fiber will be a flat $30 billed through XPress Bill Pay every month. The bill from your ISP will vary depending on the plan you choose with them and will be charged through the billing company of their choice. You’ll want to make sure you contact your ISP to see how they handle billing. You can find their contact information on our ISP Contact Info page.

Fiber Installation
Since we are the ones that provide fiber infrastructure our teams will be the ones that handle your fiber line installation. From placing fiber housing conduit outside your home, to connecting your ONT and router in your home, our teams will be there for you every step of the way. If you choose a plan that includes a router from your ISP, our installation technicians will be the ones to deliver that to you at the time of your installation. Learn more about our installation process on our Installation Process page.

Extra Services
If you add a video or phone package to your plan while signing up for internet services, your ISP will be the one to install any extra equipment those features of your package may require. If you encounter any problems with this area of your service, you will want to contact your ISP for assistance.

Now that we’ve covered we do vs what your ISP does, let’s get into who to contact if you experience any problems or have questions about your connection.

When To Contact Your ISP:
You are experiencing slow or inconsistent speeds.
There is a problem with the bill from your ISP.
You want to upgrade your internet speeds.
You notice a service outage.
You are having problems with your video or phone services.

How to Contact your ISP
You can find the contact information for all ISPs on our network on our ISP Contact Info page.

When To Contact Yellowstone Fiber:
You want to sign up for services.
There is a red light on your Yellowstone Fiber equipment (ONT)
You notice a service outage (you can stay up to date on any outages on our network by following our outage notification page on X)
You notice any construction damage caused by your fiber installation.
If you would like to switch to a different ISP
If you have questions about your Yellowstone Fiber bill or Xpress Bill Pay

How to Contact Yellowstone Fiber: 
You can use any of these method to reach our customer service team:
Phone: (406) 312-5777
Live Chat:

We hope this helped you better understand the difference between what we do, what our ISPs do, and who to contact if you have questions about your connection. If you have any further questions, please reach out to our team! We would love to answer any questions you have!