High-speed internet coming to areas of Omak, Bridgeport and Coulee Dam after $48 million grant given to tribes | Columbia Basin

This week, the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation announced an over $48 million grant it received from the federal government to build broadband internet across the reservation. Construction will happen over the next five years. Fiber will be directly connected to homes on the reservation. If a direction connection to fiber internet isn’t possible, wireless services will be established to with the goal to provide high-speed internet across the entirety of the reservation.

This grant was funded by the Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) with funds that Congress appropriated in the fiscal year 2021 Consolidated Appropriations Act and the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, which was enacted in November 2021. Each individual tribal applicant could receive a maximum of $50 million under the NTIA program. The Colville Tribes received the amount that it requested.

Colville Business Council Chairman Jarred-Michael Erickson said today, “A grant of this size is fantastic news for our people. While it won’t fund everything we need by itself, it is certainly a big step forward. I want to thank all our staff who have worked hard to make this possible, including our Information Technology people such as Tiffany Circle,and our grant people like Matthew Pleasants. Our goal is to have a day in the near future when you can access the internet anywhere on the Reservation and get the same quality of connection that you could anywhere in the State of Washington.”

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