Lone Pine, CA – The Lone Pine Paiute-Shoshone Reservation (LPPSR) announced today it was awarded a $1.86 million grant from the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) to expand high-speed internet access across their entire reservation and Tribal territories. Nationwide, more than $73 million was awarded to Tribes and entities under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Act.
LPPSR Chairperson Janet Hansen said, “We’re proud to accept this funding for our community. We’ll use it for our Broadband Infrastructure Project to construct fiber and fixed wireless networks to connect unserved Tribal households, Tribal businesses, and Tribal anchor institutions.
The network will employ Fiber To The Home (FTTH) solutions enabling Tribal households to participate in virtual Tribal Council meetings and distance learning with confidence and to communicate with each other securely. Super-fast speeds and low latency will allow families to stream movies in 4K and connect home security camera systems and smart home devices.
The network will enable the creation of new businesses that require fast, reliable internet access such as Internet Service Providers (ISPs), Electric Vehicle Charging Stations, movie and television productions and individually owned small businesses. In combination with planned training programs, Tribal Members will be trained and certified to maintain both fiber optic and wireless networks,” said Chairperson Hansen.
LPPSR Environmental Director Mel Joseph, Jr said “The magnitude of this funding will continue to allow LPPSR to build the capacity to assert its sovereignty. The dedicated technical staff that has worked diligently to secure this opportunity for all the members is to be commended.”
The Lone Pine Paiute-Shoshone Tribe partnered with NumuNetworks, a local non-profit, to plan for and apply for the grant.
“The $1.86 million award is the result of progressive leadership spanning several Tribal
administrations and the support and patience of the LPPSR community. Tribal leadership have encouraged traditional inter-tribal alliances with other nations which led to significant cost savings of materials, services and expertise and improved local Paiute Tribes’ capacity to win funding for major projects. We anticipate LPPSR’s award will be felt regionally in job creation, economic development, environmental protection, cultural preservation, public health, education and Tribal government operations,” said NumuNetworks President Jesse Archer.
The Lone Pine Paiute-Shoshone Tribe plans to leverage multiple licenses in the 2.5GHz spectrum, reinforce strategic inter-Tribal alliances, and build upon Open-Access infrastructure projects such as Golden State Connect, as well as relationships with trusted partners supporting broadband infrastructure throughout Indian Country such as MuralNet, Geeks Without Frontiers, NumuNetworks, N50, NuComm, i9 Technologies and Etheric Networks.
Planning for the project has already begun with construction expected to begin in Spring 2023.
(From Jesse Archer)