CTUIR Secures $15.5 Million in Federal Funds for Broadband

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U.S. Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley today announced that the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Reservation (CTUIR) have secured more than $15.5 million for expanded high-speed Internet network deployment and digital skills training to improve access to education, jobs, and healthcare on Tribal lands.

“Tribal communities deserve robust access to high-speed Internet so children are connected to classroom research, small businesses are linked to their customers, and families can take full advantage of telehealth opportunities,” Wyden said. “This federal investment funded by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law I was proud to support is great news for the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Reservation, and I’ll keep battling for all Oregon tribes to secure similar technology investments that help reverse historic wrongs against them.”

“From telehealth appointments, to remote learning and business opportunities for Tribal communities, reliable access to broadband and high-speed internet is a critical need in today’s connected world,” said Senator Merkley. “This funding to the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation will provide broadband to residents in remote areas of the reservation and help boost the ability to connect with health providers, education opportunities, and business resources needed to thrive. I will continue to work to ensure Tribal nations and Oregonians across the state have reliable access to high-speed internet.”

The grant from the Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) will invest in installing fiber directly connecting 342 unserved Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Reservation households with a minimum of 100 Mbps/100 Mbps qualifying broadband service.

 “This grant will enable our Tribe to provide affordable high-speed internet services to the remote areas of our Reservation that do not currently have access to the internet,” said Kat Brigham, chair of the CTUIR Board of Trustees. “Over the last five years the Tribe has been planning and building a fiber optic broadband network to connect its governmental offices, school, health clinic and Tribal enterprises that is critical to providing essential governmental services and jobs on the Umatilla Indian Reservation. We will be able to provide broadband fiber to over 342 unserved households enabling those families to take advantage of telework, telehealth, distance education and job opportunities that would otherwise be out of reach.”