Federal funding will connect Nebraska Tribal community with broadband access

Broadband Internet Fiber

LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) — Broadband access will soon be coming to the Tribal village of Winnebago, Nebraska thanks to a multi-million dollar grant.

The Winnebago tribe is receiving over $35,000,000 in funding to build fiber infrastructure for the village’s 901 residents.

Sen. Deb Fischer says this funding will provide internet for 602 households, 40 businesses and 16 community service buildings.

“Broadband is absolutely essential to modern life,” Fischer said in a press release. “It can help to grow our local economies, ensure people have access to critical services like telehealth and incentivize young people to remain active in rural communities.”

Winnebago Tribal Chairwoman Victoria Kitcheyan said the funding will connect the village with resources that were needed during the pandemic.

“We see this as a huge advancement that will open the door for new opportunities for education, commerce and communication on the Winnebago Reservation,” Kitcheyan said. “Until now we were never able to make access to viable speeds to support video conferencing, teleworking, telehealth, etc.”

Those funds will be distributed through the Tribal Broadband Connectivity Program, which awarded a total of $601.6 million across 23 grants for Tribal nations between 15 states on Tuesday.

So far, a total of $1.35 billion has been provided by the program among 94 Tribal entities.

The funding comes from 2021’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, adding $2 billion to the Biden Administration’s multi-billion dollar “Internet for All” initiative.

Earlier this year, President Joe Biden announced Nebraska would be one of five states receiving $10 billion to bring internet infrastructure to underserved communities.

SEE ALSO: 21,000 Nebraska homes and businesses to benefit from broadband initiative, officials say

Categories: Nebraska News, News