$18.9 Million Grant Awarded to Expand Internet Access to Nevada Tribal Communities | Carson City Nevada News

The Nevada Intertribal Council has received an $18.9 million grant from the National Telecommunications and Information Administration to expand Internet access to 11 Nevada tribal communities, according to an announcement from the Council and Governor Steve Sisolak.

The NTIA Tribal Broadband Connectivity Fund program will fund broadband infrastructure projects for the Washoe Tribe in Nevada and California, including the communities of Carson Colony, Woodfords, Stewart and Dresslerville; the Indian Settlement of the Elko Band, the Lovelock Paiute Tribe, the Summit Lake Paiute Tribe, the Timbisha Shoshone Tribe, the Yerington Paiute Tribe and the Yomba Shoshone Tribe.

“Over the past two years, we have seen clearly and repeatedly how important equitable access to reliable high-speed internet and a connected device is for work, education, healthcare and participation. civic,” Governor Sisolak said. “We cannot and will not leave any community behind as we work to bridge the digital divide. I am proud that my Office of Science, Innovation and Technology has partnered closely with ITCN to successfully submit these funds.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed a huge equity issue when it comes to access to affordable and reliable internet service,” said Deserea Quintana, Executive Director of ITCN. “Nevada tribal members did not have access to critical emergency updates, public safety announcements, telehealth services, telecommuting solutions, and remote learning opportunities. This funding will significantly improve the quality life of our tribal members and is long overdue.

“We were honored to help tribal governments apply for this grant and we know the resulting infrastructure will greatly benefit each tribal community. We are grateful to our partners at ITCN, NTIA and the vendor community for their support of this important project,” said Brian Mitchell, Director of the Office of Science, Innovation and Technology ( OSIT).

The infrastructure projects will provide reliable and affordable high-speed Internet access to more than 3,000 tribal members, and directly through the installation of fiber optic cables to 972 homes and six tribal government buildings or anchor institutions. Improving infrastructure and bringing fast, reliable and affordable internet access to tribes is a key area of ​​the state’s High Speed ​​Nevada initiative.

ITCN has submitted a consortium application and will contract with five broadband service providers to deploy the infrastructure needed to bridge the digital divide. Digital Technology Solutions, CC Communications, CommNet and Valley Electric will coordinate activities with OSIT, ITCN, Native Connections and Nevada Tribes to complete the projects within one year. SpaceX’s Starlink will be used in the remote Summit Lake Tribal Lands in the northwest part of the state while a feasibility study is being conducted to determine the best available technology to accommodate future growth.

ITCN is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization and governing body for the 28 member tribes of Nevada. ITCN will partner with the Governor of Nevada’s Office of Science, Innovation, and Technology, as well as many other tribal, local, state, and federal partners to ensure sustainability and long-term benefits.

An additional $2 million from NTIA TBCP funds was awarded to Walker River Paiute Tribe, Duck Valley Paiute Shoshone Tribe, Ely Shoshone Tribe and Fallon Paiute Shoshone Tribe.

The goal of the High Speed ​​Nevada initiative, launched in May 2022 by Governor Sisolak, is universal internet access for all Nevada residents that is affordable, reliable and scalable.

This more than $500 million effort, led by the Office of Science, Innovation and Technology, is funded by a variety of federal, state, local and private sources. More information about High Speed ​​NV can be found at https://osit.nv.gov/.

Comments are closed.