CN gets $50K for tribal broadband from Interior

BY STAFF REPORTS
08/14/2020 02:00 PM
WASHINGTON – According to an Aug. 13 release from the Department of Interior, the Cherokee Nation is expected to receive a $50,000 grant for broadband improvements.

The Interior’s Indian Affairs Office of Indian Energy and Economic Development has approved National Tribal Broadband Grant program grants to 23 federally recognized American Indian and Alaska Native tribes and two Navajo Nation communities to study the feasibility of developing or extending broadband services in their areas. 

The grant will enable the CN and other tribal recipients to hire qualified consultants to research the potential deployment or expansion of high-speed internet transmitted, variously, through digital subscriber line (DSL), cable modem, fiber, wireless, satellite and broadband-over-power lines (BPL). 

The program is to spur economic development and commercial activity, create opportunities for self-employment, enhance educational resources and remote learning opportunities, and meet emergency and law enforcement needs by bringing broadband services to Native American communities that lack them. 

Feasibility studies funded by the grants will be conducted by professionally qualified third parties, including private consulting or engineering firms. They will assess the current broadband services, if any, that are available to each grantee’s community; engineering evaluations of new or expanded broadband services; estimates of the cost of building or expanding broadband networks; determination of the transmission medium(s) to be employed; identification of potential funding and/or financing for networks; and consideration of financial and practical risks associated with developing broadband systems. 

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