Back in July, with the support of the Internet Society and a crew of community broadband advocates interested in increasing digital sovereignty across Indian Country, five tribes participated in the first ever Tribal Broadband Bootcamp.
The Yurok Tribe (northern California), Bear River Band of the Rohnerville Rancheria (northern California), Hoopa Valley Tribe (northern California), Pueblo of Laguna (New Mexico), and Nation of Hawaii have all applied for and received a 2.5 GHz license to build a community network for their tribes.
In this video, Jessica Engle, IT Director for the Yurok Tribe speaks in more detail about the connectivity challenges her community has faced historically, and how she is returning home from the bootcamp ready to put her newfound knowledge to work.
“When you bring high-speed Internet, that’s when development happens and opportunity happens. So, you know, making sure that (tribal) council and everyone’s aware this is going to cost money, and it probably won’t have a huge return on investment directly. But there are a million different indirect benefits of bringing the access,” Engle says in the video.
Currently, the standard connection for residents is 1 Megabits per second (Mbps) download. The premium is 5 Mbps.
Both her and Linnea Jackson, General Manager for Hoopa Valley PUD stress the importance of tribes in their region being able to build and operate their own networks.
“You do have the ability to provide service for your own people,” said Linnae Jackson, General Manager of the Hoopa Valley PUD.
Watch Jessica Engle speak further with Chris Mitchell, Travis Carter and Matthew Rantanen on Episode 17 of Connect This!
Learn more about how to build LTE networks with our four-part educational video series.