Broadband and Native Nations in the U.S.

ILSR’s offices are located on land that was, and is, stewarded by Indigenous peoples. ILSR recognizes, supports, and advocates for the sovereignty of Native Nations.

  • Minneapolis, Minn.: Bdote, the land where the two rivers meet, is part of the traditional territory of the Dakota people and has served as a gathering place for many Indigenous peoples.
  • Washington, D.C.: The traditional territory of the Anacostan and Piscataway peoples.
  • Portland, Maine: The traditional territory of the Wabanaki Confederacy, which is currently comprised of the Penobscot, Passamaquoddy, Maliseet, Abenaki, and Micmac nations.

Native Nations need high-speed Internet access. As of December 2018, fewer than 72 percent of residents on tribal lands have a broadband connection, and only 57 percent on Tribal lands in the lower 48 states have a broadband connection. Broadband development on Tribal lands have long lagged the rates of rural and urban areas. These numbers are a best-case scenario as they are presented in the Federal Communication Commission's (FCC) 2020 Broadband Deployment Report and Appendices. FCC reports overstate broadband deployment because of the FCC's deeply flawed data collection practices. Native Nations, however, are addressing the digital divide on their own lands and on their own terms.

This page offers a census of Native Nations networks as well as some key resources that may be useful in understanding and overcoming the challenge of ensuring everyone in Indian Country has high-quality Internet access.

The FCC should recognize Native Nations’ autonomy in determining how to address the digital divide and use spectrum for Internet access. The DIGITAL Reservations Act [pdf] of 2020 by then Congresswoman Deb Haaland (NM-01) and U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) would have allowed Native Nations to access spectrum over their lands currently denied to them. It would also create a Tribal Broadband Fund for Native Nations’ wireless projects, further supporting the work many Native Nations have already done.

The reports from the Internet Society’s Indigenous Connectivity Summit area an invaluable resource for learning more about how Native Nations are addressing broadband. The 2020 recommendations were the work of more than 180 people from the U.S. and Canada and were approved at the 2020 Indigenous Connectivity Summit. The recommendations include recognizing Spectrum Sovereignty, funding capacity building programs, and improving mapping. Read the 2020 Indigenous Connectivity Summit Policy Recommendations.

In 2021, the Bureau of Indian Affairs released a 2021 National Tribal Broadband Strategy addressing some of these themes. The report proposes the creation of a Broadband Development Program to provide technical assistance to Native Nations and establish a place for information sharing among Native Nations. The strategy also calls for improved mapping of broadband in Indian Country and establishing more funding for broadband planning. The full strategy is available here [pdf].

Indigenous networks below are part of two lists

  1. a list of broadband networks owned by Native Nations in the United States and
  2. a list of Native Nations that are working closely with an external provider in a variety of arrangements

For an in-depth look at how several Native Nations have built their own networks, read the report “Building Indigenous Future Zones: Four Tribal Broadband Case Studies."

The criteria for networks to be featured on this page:

Native Nations’ Networks

  • The network is owned by a Native Nation.
  • The network connects businesses, residents, and/or community anchor institutions.
  • The network is at least partially built.

Native Nations working with external providers

  • The Native Nation is actively working with the external provider: There is a partnership.
  • The network connects businesses and/or residents, not just institutional buildings.
  • The network is at least partially built.

Currently, the map above displays Native Nations' networks but not yet partnerships. The first list below is the Native Nations' networks and the second list, with a light gray background, is the list of partnerships.

We will continue to expand this page, and we apologize for any omissions. Please contact broadband@muninetworks.org for additions or corrections to this page. The vast majority of this research was done by Hannah Trostle and made possible with support from Internet Society.



Native Nations’ Networks

Aaniin

Fond du Lac Band of the Minnesota Ojibwe

This Fiber-to-the-Home network connects about 1,500 homes and businesses on the Fond du Lac reservation. The network received funding from a variety of sources, including the United State Department of Agriculture, United States Department of Housing and Urban Development, and the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development.

To learn more about the network, read the in-depth case study in “Building Indigenous Future Zones: Four Tribal Broadband Case Studies” (ILSR 2021).

Services: Internet, Voice, Video
Technology: Fiber-to-the-Home
Website: http://www.aaniin.net/


Blue Lake Rancheria Department of Energy and Technologies Blue Lake Rancheria

The Blue Lake Rancheria formed the Department of Energy and Technologies in 2013 to attain energy self-sufficiency. The Department has built a micro-grid to that effect. The Department notes among its utility services that it offers telecommunications.

Services: Internet Service
Technology: Unknown
Website: https://bluelakerancheria-nsn.gov/about/departments/utility/


Quick Mention

Cell Tower Project

Round Valley Indian Tribes

This project increases cellular service on the Round Valley Reservation.

Services: Cell Service, Mobile Data
Technology: Wireless
Website: https://www.rvit.org/about/cell-tower-project


Cherokee Broadband

Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians have built a wireless network to provide Internet access to their community. The wireless service only goes up to about 4Mbps, but they have recently embarked on a project to install Fiber-to-the-Home as well. This will increase speeds and improve reliability of service.

Services: Internet service
Technology: Wireless and (Soon) Fiber-to-the-Home
Website: https://cherokeebroadband.com/


Community Broadband Services

Quinault Nation The Quinault Nation has a network that connects members according to their 2020 QIN Essential Services resource guide. It lists a support line to call if there are any issues with the service. The Quinault Nation released a Request For Bid for a Wi-Fi mesh network in 2017 to connect members.

Services: Internet
Technology: Unknown
Website: No Website


Fiber Network

Mille Lacs Band The Mille Lacs Band has installed a small fiber network to government buildings, the casino, and several of the Band’s businesses. The Mille Lacs Band leases bandwidth from an Internet Service Provider. The band has Wi-Fi sites set up in three districts to provide public Internet access.

Services: Internet
Technology: Fiber
Website: No Website


Fiber-to-the-Home Project

The Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community finished a Fiber-to-the-Home network in August 2015. The network connects residents and tribal enterprises with high-quality Internet service. They had started planning for the network back in 2013, and two years later they were able to begin building the project in April 2015.

Services: Internet, Voice, Video
Technology: Fiber-to-the-Home
Provider's Website: No Website


Fort Mojave Telecommunications

Fort Mojave Indian Tribe The Fort Mojave Indian Tribe established this telecommunication company in 1988. The network now uses both Fiber-to-the-Home and fixed wireless to connect residents and businesses.

Services: Internet, Voice, Video
Technology: Fiber-to-the-Home & Fixed Wireless
Provider's Website: http://ftmojave.com/


Fox Xchange

Meskwaki Nation (Sac & Fox Tribe of the Mississippi in Iowa) The Meskwaki Nation finished this Fiber-to-the-Home network in 2018 to serve their community. There was little Internet service available in the community before the Fiber-to-the-Home project in 2010. They deployed the network in phases over the next eight years. Broadband service is now available -- $60 for 25 Mbps download and 15 Mbps upload.

Services: Internet
Technology: Fiber-to-the-Home
Provider’s Website: https://www.meskwaki.org/community-services/fox-xchange/


Gila River Telecommunications

Gila River Indian Community of the Gila River Indian Reservation Gila River Telecommunications has provided telephone service since 1988 after purchasing infrastructure from US West. Gila River Telecommunications expanded the service area over the years, and is now working on upgrading the infrastructure to Fiber-to-the-Home. Broadband service is available for $27/month in areas with Fiber-to-the-Home.

Services: Internet, Voice
Technology: DSL and Fiber-to-the-Home
Provider’s Website: http://www.gilarivertel.com/


Hopi Telecommunications

Hopi Tribe of Arizona Hopi Telecommunications was established in 2004 to provide better service to the community. The Hopi Tribe has a project in the works to further improve the Internet service in the area using a wireless network.

Services: Internet, Voice
Technology: DSL
Provider’s Website: https://hopitelecom.com/internet/


Hungry Valley Broadband Initiative

Reno-Sparks Indian Colony The Reno-Sparks Indian Colony had a $400,000 grant from the USDA’s Broadband Initiatives Program. They built a wireless network for their community, and the minimum download speed is about 5 Mbps.

Services: Internet
Technology: Wireless
Provider’s Website: No Website


Jamestown Networks

Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe Jamestown Networks serves public institutions and large commercial enterprises. They work with Northwest Open Access Network (NOANet) for installation and maintenance. Jamestown Networks’ services are available across the state of Washington through NOANet.

Services: Internet, Voice
Technology: Fiber
Provider’s Website: https://jamestownnetworks.com/


Jemez-Zia Pueblo Tribal Consortium

Jemez Pueblo Zia Pueblo This consortium provides high-speed Internet access to schools and libraries in Jemez Pueblo and Zia Pueblo. The tribal governments worked together to leverage E-Rate funding, a federal program, to improve connectivity at the schools. The networks connects six institutions. Prior to the consortium, the schools and libraries were paying up to $283 per Megabit, but after the consortium, it was estimated to be reduced down to about $6.80 per Megabit (as of 2016).

Services: Internet
Technology: Fiber
Provider’s Website: No website


Klamath River Rural Broadband Initiative

Karuk Tribe, Yurok Tribe In 2013, the Karuk Tribe and Yurok Tribe received funding from the California Public Utility Commission to build a middle mile network and a wireless last-mile network in northern California. (Middle mile connects networks to the wider Internet; last-mile connects homes and businesses. The middle mile connectivity also supports the Yurok Tribe’s last-mile Yurok Connect network.

Services: Internet
Technology: Fiber and Wireless
Provider’s Website: http://www.krrbi.com/krrbi/Welcome.html


Quick Mention

Kodiak Microwave Systems Village of Old Harbor The Village of Old Harbor in Alaska owns this network for backhaul. Backhaul connects local networks to the rest of the Internet, and it is needed for cell service and for Internet service.

Services: Internet (Backhaul)
Technology: Microwave Wireless
Provider’s Website: https://www.kmsalaska.com/


------------------------------------------

Lakota Network/Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe Telephone Authority

Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe of the Cheyenne River Reservation The Lakota Network is a subsidiary of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe Telephone Authority and has been providing Internet service to the Cheyenne River Reservation since 1998. In 2009, they began to use a USDA Rural Utility Service Loan to deploy Fiber-to-the-Home throughout their service area.

Services: Internet, Voice
Technology: DSL and Fiber-to-the-Home
Provider’s Website: http://www.crstta.com/services/internet-network


Middle Rio Grande Pueblo Consortium

Pueblo of Cochiti, Pueblo of San Felipe, Santa Ana Pueblo, Kewa Pueblo This network was built as a collaboration among the libraries of the Pueblos of Cochiti, San Felipe, Santa Ana, and Kewa. The project cost about $4.2 million and was built with E-Rate funds, like the Jemez-Zia Pueblo Tribal Consortium.

Services: Internet
Technology: Fiber
Provider’s Website: No Website


Mohawk Networks

St. Regis Mohawk Tribe The St. Regis Mohawk Tribe is split by the U.S.-Canada border, but they did not let this bureaucratic red tape keep them from delivering high-quality Internet service to their community of Akwesasne. They use both Fiber-to-the-Home and fixed wireless to deliver high-speed service. The fixed wireless is also available off-territory in the nearby New York counties of Franklin and Lewis To learn more about the network, read the in-depth case study in “Building Indigenous Future Zones: Four Tribal Broadband Case Studies” (ILSR 2021).

Services: Video, Phone, Internet
Technology: Fixed Wireless, Fiber-to-the-Home
Provider’s Website: https://mohawk-networks.com/


Native American Telecom

Crow Creek Sioux Tribe of the Crow Creek Reservation Native American Telecom was founded in 2008 to provide broadband and telephone service on the Crow Creek Reservation. The tribe opened an Internet Library and Technology Center to ensure that residents could remain connected.

Services: Internet, Voice
Technology: Unknown
Provider’s Website: Unknown


Nez Perce Department of Technology Services

Nez Perce Tribe The Nez Perce Tribe developed a hybrid fixed wireless and Fiber-to-the-Home network. Developing the plan for the network took a while, but the network development began in 2009. They combined funding from several sources, included the Idaho Gem Grant Program and the USDA Community Connect program. They have Fiber-to-the-Home in one community, and they built a middle mile fiber line out of the region to save money. To learn more about the network, read the in-depth case study in “Building Indigenous Future Zones: Four Tribal Broadband Case Studies” (ILSR 2021).

Services: Internet Service
Technology: Fiber-to-the-Home, Fixed Wireless
Provider’s Website: https://nezpercesystems.com/


Quick Mention

Northstar Wireless/Spectrum Doyon, Limited Doyon, Limited is an Alaska Native corporation owns Northstar Wireless/Spectrum. The network provides cell phone and data service.

Services: Cell Service, Mobile Data
Technology: Wireless
Provider’s Website: www.doyon.com


Government Fiber Team

Pechanga Band of Luiseño Mission Indians This is a Fiber-to-the-Home network created by the Pechanga Band of Luiseño Mission Indians. Little information is available about the current status of this network.

Services: Internet
Technology: Fiber-to-the-Home
Provider’s Website: NA


Red Spectrum Communications

Coeur d’Alene Tribe In 2004, the Coeur d’Alene Tribe built a wireless network using funding from the USDA to serve the needs of their communities. By 2010, however, the demand for connectivity had outgrown the initial wireless network. They applied for more USDA funding and built a more robust wireless network and began building Fiber-to-the-Home as well in some communities. To learn more about the network, read the in-depth case study in “Building Indigenous Future Zones: Four Tribal Broadband Case Studies” (ILSR 2021).

Services: Internet
Technology: Fiber-to-the-Home, Fixed Wireless
Provider’s Website: https://www.red-spectrum.com/


Saddleback Communications

Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community of the Salt River Reservation Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community is in the Phoenix metro area, and this network connects the community with DSL. There is some Fiber-to-the-Home available as well. The fiber network has speed plans up to 500 Mbps

Services: Internet, Voice
Technology: DSL, Fiber-to-the-Home
Provider’s Website: https://saddlebackcomm.com/


Salish Networks

Tulalip Tribes Salish Networks has been providing telecommunication service in the region for ten years. It uses DSL and provides service to both residents and businesses. Residential Internet plans are priced based on location.

Services: Internet, Voice, Video
Technology: DSL
Provider’s Website: https://www.salishnetworks.com/


--------Coming Soon----------

Seneca Energy Seneca Nation Seneca Nation’s energy department is building a Fiber-to-the-Home network using funding from the USDA. This will connect 85% of the Southern Tier territory of the Seneca Nation. Designing and building the network will take three years, and the project began at the end of 2019.

Services: Internet
Technology: Fiber-to-the-Home
Provider’s Website: https://senecaenergy.com/


Southern California Tribal Digital Village

  • Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians
  • Barona Band of Mission Indians
  • Cahuilla Band of Mission Indians
  • Campo Band of Kumeyaay Indians
  • Chemehuevi Indian Tribe
  • Ewiiaapaayp Band of Kumeyaay Indians
  • Lipay Nation of Santa Ysabel
  • Inaja-Cosmit Band of Indians
  • Jamul Indian Village A Kumeyaay Nation
  • La Jolla Band of Luiseño Indians
  • La Posta Band of Mission Indians
  • Los Coyotes Band of Cahuilla and Cupeño Indians
  • Manzanita Band of the Kumeyaay Nation
  • Mesa Grande Band of Mission Indians
  • Pala Band of Mission Indians
  • Pauma Band of Luiseño Indians
  • Rincon Band of Luiseño Indians
  • San Manuel Band of Mission Indians
  • San Pasqual Band of Mission Indians
  • Santa Rosa Band of Cahuilla Indians
  • Soboba Band of Luiseño Indians
  • Sycuan Band of the Kumeyaay Nation
  • Torres Martinez Desert Cahuilla Indians
  • Viejas Band of Kumeyaay Indians
  • This network is a project of the Southern California Tribal Chairmen’s Association. It provides connectivity to more than 86 tribal buildings and many other community anchor institutions where service is available for free. Wireless service is available to residents for a fee. To learn more about the network, read the wireless section of “Building Indigenous Future Zones: Four Tribal Broadband Case Studies” (ILSR 2021).

    Services: Internet
    Technology: Fixed Wireless
    Provider’s Website: https://sctdv.net/


    Standing Rock Telecom

    Standing Rock Sioux Tribe This network provides service to the Standing Rock Reservation in North and South Dakota. It was created in 2008, and it became an Eligible Telecommunications Carrier for the whole reservation. This means that it is able to offer Federally subsidized Lifeline service to all eligible residents.

    Services: Cellular, Internet
    Technology: Mobile, Fixed Wireless
    Provider’s Website: https://www.standingrocktelecom.com/


    Superior Connections

    Bad River Tribe This is a fixed wireless network that connects the Bad River Reservation in Wisconsin. It is project by the Bad River Tribe to ensure that everyone has access to Internet service at affordable rates. They also offer the service to communities nearby the Bad River Reservation.

    Services: Internet
    Technology: Fixed Wireless
    Provider’s Website: http://www.superiorconnections.com/


    Tewa Communications

    Pueblo of San Ildefonso This network began in 2010 when the San Ildefonso Pueblo Enterprise Corporation found funding for a connectivity project. Using grants and loans through USDA Rural Utilities Services, they created Tewa Communications. Little information on the current status of this network is available.

    Services: Internet
    Technology: Wireless
    Provider’s Website: NA


    Tohono O'odham Utility Authority

    Tohono O’odham Nation The Tohono O’odham Utility Authority was established in 1970 and provides many essential services across the U.S. part of the Tohono O’odham Nation. The U.S.-Mexico border splits the Tohono O’odham Nation. The Utility Authority uses DSL to provide Internet service.

    Services: Internet, Telephone, Electric, Water, Cellular, Propane
    Technology: DSL
    Provider’s Website: https://toua.net/


    Tribal Broadband/PGDAccess

    Port Gamble S'Klallam Tribe In 2002, the Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribe’s Development Authority began to look into a fiber network to better connect government buildings and businesses. They built the network with funding from the USDA in 2007. Little information on the current status of this network is available.

    Services: Internet
    Technology: Fiber
    Provider’s Website: N/A


    Tule River Telecommunications Department

    Tule River Indian Tribe of the Tule River Reservation The Tule River Indian Tribe established the telecommunications department in 2007, and the department is developing a fiber network. This network is not just for government and businesses, but also for residents. They are working on securing funding to expand the fiber network to all the reservation.

    Services: Internet
    Technology: Fiber-to-the-Home
    Provider’s Website: N/A


    Wind River Internet

    Arapaho Tribe of the Wind River Reservation This networks uses Fiber-to-the-Home and Fixed Wireless to bring Internet access to the reservation. There are many multigenerational households who depend on the Internet service for education and small businesses. To learn more, watch this mini-documentary from the Pew Research Center on the network:

    Services: Internet, Voice
    Technology: Fiber-to-the-Home, Fixed Wireless
    Provider’s Website: https://windriverinternet.com/


    Wireless Network

    Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes The Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes built a wireless network during the COVID-19 pandemic to ensure that everyone had access to distance learning and telehealth. The network is designed to cover about 80 percent of the reservation. The wired Internet service plans available from other providers are not affordable and do not cover the whole reservation. This tribally owned network brings affordability as well as connectivity. Read more about the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes’ network at MTPR.org: https://www.mtpr.org/post/covid-relief-helps-tribes-bring-broadband-some-montana-reservations

    Services: Internet
    Technology: Wireless
    Provider’s Website: N/A


    Wireless Network

    Havasupai Tribe The Havasupai Tribe have built a wireless network for educational purposes during the COVID-19 pandemic. With assistance from MuralNet, they connected several households with children to Internet service for distance learning. Read the full story about the Havasupai Tribe’s network on NPR: https://www.npr.org/2019/09/16/759908026/most-isolated-tribe-in-continental-u-s-gets-broadband

    Services: Internet
    Technology: Wireless
    Provider’s Website: N/A


    Wireless Network

    Hualapai Indian Tribe The Hualapai Tribe have been building a wireless network with assistance from MuralNet and Education SuperHighway. The network is only available to families with schoolchildren who need the connectivity for distance learning. The network structure requires line of sight to the radio tower.

    Services: Internet
    Technology: Wireless
    Provider’s Website: N/A


    Wireless Network

    Lower Brule Tribe This is another project made in association with MuralNet. Using funding from the CARES Act 2020, the Lower Brule Tribe built a wireless network for educational purposes. The project cost about $250,000 to install the wireless network, and the Lower Brule Tribe made sure that students had devices at home to use the new connectivity for schoolwork. Read more about the impact of this network at South Dakota News Watch: https://www.sdnewswatch.org/stories/how-one-native-american-tribe-in-s-d-created-its-own-wireless-education-network/

    Services: Internet
    Technology: Wireless
    Provider’s Website: N/A


    Wireless Network

    Ohkay Owingeh In 2013, Ohkay Owingeh operated a wireless network for residents and community anchor institutions, such as government buildings and libraries. Ohkay Owingeh is a REDI Net partner, which is a collaboration of multiple governments to provide fiber and wireless access throughout New Mexico. Little information on the current status of this wireless network is available.

    Services: Internet
    Technology: Wireless
    Provider’s Website: N/A


    Yakama Nation Network

    Yakama Nation This wireless network serves residents and businesses on the Yakama Nation Reservation in Washington. Yakama Nation Network’s goal is to provide reliable Internet service and is constantly expanding the service area to reach more residents. All the Internet service plans have unlimited data.

    Services: Internet
    Technology: Wireless
    Provider’s Website: https://www.ynnetworks.com/


    Yurok Connect

    Yurok Tribe Launched in 2013, Yurok Connect is a wireless Internet service provider that is working on expanding Internet access. Over the last seven years, Yurok Connect has secured funding and expanded their service area. They are currently using CARES Act funding to reach more people.

    Services: Internet
    Technology: Wireless
    Provider’s Website: N/A

     

    Native Nations Working with External Providers


    Arctic Slope Telephone Association Cooperative (ASTAC)

    • Village of Point Hope
    • Village of Wainwright
    • Village of Nuiqsut
    ASTAC used funding from the USDA’s Rural Utilities Service Community Connect grant to bring Fiber-to-the-Home to the villages of Point Hope, Wainwright, and Nuiqsut on the North Slope of Alaska.

    Services: Internet
    Technology: Fiber
    Provider’s Website: https://www.astac.net/


    Arrowhead Electric Cooperative/True North Broadband

    Grand Portage Band The Grand Portage Band has been collaborating with the local electric cooperative and Cook County in Minnesota for better connectivity through a fiber middle mile project. The electric cooperative can use the middle mile to connect to their Fiber-to-the-Home network. About 94 percent of the Grand Portage Band’s tribal lands have access to Fiber-to-the-Home. Read more at Blandin On Broadband: https://blandinonbroadband.org/2019/05/29/grand-portage-reservation-broadband-profile-94-percent-access-to-100-20/

    Services: Internet
    Technology: Fiber
    Provider’s Website: https://truenorthbroadband.com/


    Astrea

    Sokaogon Chippewa Forest County Potawatomi The Sokaogon Chippewa and Astrea announced their partnership in Fall 2020, and the network construction was due to be completed at the end of 2020. Astrea also partnered with Forest County Potawatomi to build a Fiber-to-the-Home network.

    Services: Internet, Voice, Video
    Technology: Fiber
    Provider’s Website: https://astreaconnect.com/


    Baraga Telephone Company

    Keweenaw Bay Indian Community The Baraga Telephone Company worked with Keweenaw Bay tribal officials to build a Fiber-to-the-Home network in the community. The company also connected key tribal government buildings and community anchor institutions.

    Services: Internet
    Technology: Fiber
    Provider’s Website: https://www.up.net/


    City of Pawhuska

    Osage Nation The City of Pawhuska and the Osage Nation are working together on a municipal Wi-Fi project. This connects residents and visitors to a public Internet connection. The partnership made it clear that this is not intended to be a replacement for home Internet service, but it will help close the digital divide.

    Services: Internet
    Technology: Wireless
    Provider’s Website: N/A


    Grays Harbor PUD

    Shoalwater Bay Tribe Since 2018, Grays Harbor PUD and Shoalwater Bay Tribe have discussed the need for a connectivity study for the Shoalwater Bay Tribe. Grays Harbor PUD is an electricity and telecommunications Public Utility District in the state of Washington.

    Services: Internet
    Technology: N/A
    Provider’s Website: N/A


    Great Lakes Energy Truestream

    Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians Great Lakes Energy’s Truestream provides broadband service to the Little Traverse Bay Bands’ Wah Wahs NooDaKe tribal housing community. Great Lake Energy is a local electric cooperative, which has recently expanded into Internet service. Trustream service is also available at public Wi-Fi access points near the Little Traverse Bay Bands to help close the Digital Divide.

    Services: Internet
    Technology: Fiber, Wireless
    Provider’s Website: https://www.jointruestream.com/


    Kit Carson Electric Cooperative

    Taos Pueblo Picuris Pueblo Kit Carson Electric Cooperative is working to ensure that residents of Taos Pueblo and Picuris Pueblo are connected during the COVID-19 pandemic. Kit Carson Electric Co-op is based out of Taos and is providing free Internet service to 14 homes on tribal land. They are working with the Pueblos to make sure students are connected. Additionally, they have set up three public Wi-Fi hotspots in the Pueblos.

    Services: Internet
    Technology: Fiber, Wireless
    Provider’s Website: https://kitcarson.com/internet


    Lane Council of Governments

    Klamath Tribes In 2012, the Klamath Tribes and the Lane Council of Governments came to an agreement that the Lance Council of Governments would wire tribal government buildings and provide some monetary compensation in exchange for easements to run fiber on some tribal lands. The Lane Council of Governments does not provide the Internet service.

    Services: N/A
    Technology: Fiber
    Provider’s Website: N/A


    Mescalero Apache Telecom

    Mescalero Apache Tribe Mescalero Apache Telecom is a Native-owned company has been serving residents and businesses on the Mescalero reservation since 2001. The company has recently invested in Fiber-to-the-Home and is building out this next-generation network across the reservation.

    Services: Internet
    Technology: Fiber, DSL
    Provider’s Website: http://www.matinetworks.net/index.html


    Native Network and Microsoft

    Swinomish Tribe Lummi Nation Native Network and Microsoft’s Airband Initiative teamed up to use TV White Space for Internet service in rural areas. The Swinomish Tribe and Lummi Nation were two Native Nations that agreed to participate in the project.

    Services: Internet
    Technology: Wireless
    Provider’s Website: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/corporate-responsibility/airband


    Northwest Open Access Network (NoaNet)

  • Tulalip Tribes of Washington
  • Kalispell Tribe
  • Yakama Nation
  • Lower Elwha Kallam Tribe
  • Suquamish Tribe
  • Port Gamble S’Kallam Tribe
  • NoaNet is a municipal network comprised of public utility districts that focuses on closing the digital divide in rural Washington. NoaNet connects community anchors and government institutions on several Native Nations, and the structure enables the Native Nations to choose their own Internet service provider.

    Services: Internet
    Technology: Fiber
    Provider’s Website: https://noanet.net/


    Northland Communications

    Oneida Nation The Oneida Nation has partnered with Northland Communications to build a fiber network in central New York. The fiber network connects local businesses and Oneida Nation enterprises, such as the casinos and convenience stores. The partnership began in 2015.

    Services: Internet
    Technology: Fiber
    Provider’s Website: https://www.northland.net/


    Norvado

    Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Ojibwe In 2020, the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin awarded Norvado and the Red Cliff Band a Broadband Expansion grant of about $100,000. The grant is to extend Internet service to more than 30 local businesses and to about 700 homes on Red Cliff Tribal Lands.

    Services: Internet
    Technology: Fiber
    Provider’s Website: https://norvado.com/


    Paul Bunyan Communications

    Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe The telephone cooperative Paul Bunyan Communications worked with the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe in Minnesota to expand a fiber network to the Leech Lake reservation. The fiber network offers speeds up to 1 Gbps for both download and upload. They expect to continue extending the fiber network across the reservation.

    Services: Internet, Voice, Video
    Technology: Fiber
    Provider’s Website: https://paulbunyan.net/


    Rainbow Communications

    Iowa Tribe of Kansas and Nebraska Rainbow Communications works with the Iowa Tribe of Kansas and Nebraska to provide Internet service to the reservation. The fiber network has speeds ranging from 25 Mbps to 1 Gbps.

    Services: Internet, Voice, Video
    Technology: Fiber
    Provider’s Website: https://www.rainbowtel.net/


    REDI Net

    Ohkay Owingeh Pueblo of Pojoaque Pueblo of Santa Clara Pueblo of Teseque REDI Net is a partnership of local governments and pueblos to improve connectivity in New Mexico. REDI Net works with last mile Internet service providers, including Plateau, Black Mesa Wireless, and CyberWinds Wireless, to improve Internet service options for rural and tribal areas.

    Services: N/A
    Technology: Wireless
    Provider’s Website: https://www.redinetnm.org/


    Sacred Wind Communications

    Navajo Nation Sacred Wind Communications has worked with the Navajo Nation to expand Internet access in New Mexico. The company is Native-owned and uses a mix of technologies to deliver connectivity: DSL, Fixed Wireless, and Fiber. Residential home Internet plans are available with speeds up to 100 Mbps. Sacred Wind Communications also offers solar-powered phone and Internet service. Listen to our interview with Sacred Wind here (or read the transcript).

    Services: Internet, Voice
    Technology: DSL, Wireless, Fiber
    Provider’s Website: https://sacredwindcommunications.com/


    Starlink

  • Hoh Tribe
  • Blackfeet Tribe
  • The Hoh Tribe in Washington and the Blackfeet Tribe in Montana agreed to participate in a beta program for Low Earth Orbit satellite Internet service from Starlink. This is a new kind of satellite Internet service that can deliver high speeds at an affordable price. To learn more about Starlink and the Hoh Tribe, read the “Building Indigenous Future Zones: Four Tribal Broadband Case Studies” (ILSR 2021).

    Services: Internet
    Technology: LEO Satellite
    Provider’s Website: https://www.starlink.com/


    Unidentified Partner

    Spokane Tribe The Spokane Tribe in Washington is looking for an ISP to take over the operation of the Spokane Tribe Telecommunication Exchange. The Spokane Tribe also have a number of broadband projects in the works.

    Services: Internet, Voice
    Technology: N/A
    Provider’s Website: N/A


    Valley FiberCom

    Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe Valley FiberCom is a telecommunications cooperative that has worked to expand service to rural parts of Moody County, South Dakota, including the Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe. The fiber network offers speeds of up to 1 Gbps.

    Services: Internet, Voice, Video
    Technology: Fiber
    Provider’s Website: https://valleyfibercom.com/


    Wireless on Wheels

    Chickahominy Indian Tribe Trailers outfitted with mobile hotspots are temporarily filling in a digital divide during the pandemic in many communities, including the Chickahominy Indian Tribe in Virginia. This is not a network, but stop-gap solution. Funding for the Wireless on Wheels project in Charles City County, Virginia, came from sPower, a renewable energy company. For more information about the project, read the briefing from sPower at https://www.spower.com/news/2020-07-27/.

    Services: Internet
    Technology: Mobile Hotspot
    Provider’s Website: N/A


    Wittenberg Telephone/Cirrinity


    Stockbridge Munsee Community The Stockbridge Munsee Community and Wittenberg Telephone are working together to bring Fiber-to-the-Home throughout the reservation in Wisconsin. The work is being completed from June 2020 to July 2021.

    Services: Internet, Voice, Video
    Technology: Fiber
    Provider’s Website: https://cirrinity.net/

    Media Contact: Christopher Mitchell, 612-545-5185

    Network Installation