The Montana Public Service Commission voted unanimously to sue communications company CenturyLink in District Court. According to commissioner Bob Lake, the decision came after lots of monitoring and study.

"It takes a lot of time and hand reading before you come up with that because it's not a casual decision and it's not used very often but CenturyLink service to rural customers has been severely lacking," Lake said.

Lake says that providers are required to address 90 percent of complaint calls within a 24 hour period, but that Century Link’s rate was down near just 50 percent. Lake pointed to an especially difficult situation in central Montana.

"One group up there in the Cascade Dearborn area that literally can't get any emergency calls out," Lake said. "If they want to call Australia they can call them, but they can't call their neighbor across the river they can see. We've been working on this for some time, but they are on the point of total frustration."

The amount of money at issue in the lawsuit will be decided during the court proceedings. Lake says the paperwork will likely be officially filed in district court in the next few days.