CARSON CITY, NV – August 26, 2022
Today, Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak and the Inter-Tribal Council of Nevada (ITCN) announced the Council has received an $18.9 million grant from the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) to expand Internet access to 11 tribal communities in the State.
The NTIA Tribal Broadband Connectivity Fund Program will fund broadband infrastructure projects to the Elko Band Indian Colony, Lovelock Paiute Tribe, Summit Lake Paiute Tribe, Timbisha Shoshone Tribe, Yerington Paiute Tribe, Yomba Shoshone Tribe, and Washoe Tribe of Nevada and California, including the Carson Colony, Woodfords, Stewart, and Dresslerville communities.
“In the past two years, we have seen plainly and repeatedly just how important equitable access to high-speed, reliable internet and a connected device is for work, education, healthcare, and civic participation,” said Governor Sisolak. “We cannot and will not leave any community behind as we work to close the digital divide. I am proud that my Office of Science, Innovation and Technology partnered closely with the ITCN to successfully submit for these funds.”
“The COVID-19 pandemic exposed a huge equity concern when it came to access to affordable and reliable internet service," said Deserea Quintana, Executive Director for ITCN. “Nevada tribal members lacked access to critical emergency updates, public safety announcements, telehealth services, telecommuting solutions, and remote learning opportunities. This funding will significantly improve the quality of life for our tribal members and is long overdue.”
“We were honored to assist the Tribal governments to apply for this grant and know the resulting infrastructure will greatly benefit each tribal community. We’re grateful for our partners at ITCN, the NTIA, and the provider community for their support of this important project,” said Brian Mitchell, Director of the Office of Science, Innovation and Technology (OSIT).
The infrastructure projects will provide reliable, affordable, high-speed internet to over 3,000 tribal members, and directly via installation of optical fiber cables to 972 homes and six tribal government buildings or anchor institutions. Improving infrastructure and bringing fast, reliable, and affordable Internet access to Tribes is a key area of focus for the State’s High Speed Nevada Initiative.
ITCN submitted a consortium application and will contract with five broadband service providers to deploy the infrastructure necessary to bridge the digital divide. Digital Technology Solutions, CC Communications, CommNet and Valley Electric will coordinate activities with OSIT, ITCN, Native Connections and Nevada Tribes to complete the projects within one year. SpaceX’s Starlink will be utilized in the remote tribal lands of Summit Lake, in the northwestern part of the state, while a feasibility study is conducted to determine the best technology available to meet future growth.
ITCN is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization and governing body for the 28 member Tribes in Nevada. ITCN will partner with Nevada Governor’s Office of Science, Innovation & Technology, as well as many other tribal, local, state, and federal partners to ensure long-term sustainability and long-term benefits.
An additional $2 million from NTIA TBCP funds were awarded to Walker River Paiute Tribe, Duck Valley Paiute Shoshone Tribe, Ely Shoshone Tribe and the Fallon Paiute Shoshone Tribe.
The goal of the High Speed Nevada Initiative, launched in May 2022 by Governor Sisolak, is universal access to the Internet for all Nevadans that is affordable, reliable, and scalable. This $500 million+ effort, led by the Office of Science, Innovation and Technology, is funded by a variety of federal, State, local, and private sources. More information about High Speed NV can be found at https://osit.nv.gov/.
A fact sheet is attached to this release.