Current Projects

Improving Tribal Broadband


Getting Funding and Getting Started on the FCC 2.5GHz Rural Tribal Network

So far, tribes throughout Indian Country have received their FCC 2.5GHz license, enabling them to take control of a critical asset and decide their own digital future.

With the FCC 2.5GHz network, tribes can invest in their digital communication infrastructure, build out their own internet networks, or lease or sell the spectrum to other internet service providers. Possibilities include:

  • Building tribally owned wireless service for government, health and emergency services
  • Expanding reliable high-speed internet to tribal communities for home and business use
  • Creating funding for other tribal priorities by leasing or selling the 2.5GHz license to other wireless service providers

For tribes that have applied for and received their FCC 2.5GHz license and are ready to move forward, First Nations’ series of interactive, online resources can help in identifying funding and exploring next steps to building out or leasing the 2.5GHz network.

Resource #1
Webinar: Funding Broadband in Indian Country
Tuesday, November 17, 2020, 1 to 3 pm, Mountain Time.

Insights and information on current and future funding mechanisms, strategy, appropriate resources for each stage in the process, and timing. Panelists include:

  • Forest James, CEO of EnerTribe, who will bring insights on successfully funding and managing tribal broadband projects at different stages and sizes
  • Matthew Rantanen, Director of IT of the Southern California Tribal Chairmen’s Association and Arcadian Infracom, who will provide a tribal IT perspective, sharing tangible, on-the-ground information on accessing established funding, and planning projects around federal funding cycles
  • Sascha Meinrath, Palmer Chair in Telecommunications at Penn State, who will share the latest developments in tribal broadband policy-making and future tribal broadband funding prospects at the federal level.