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Aug 14, 2023
4 min

Why Now Is the Right Time To Bring Broadband To Your Tribe

Across the country, many tribes just like yours are considering how to bring broadband internet to their communities. 

There are many reasons why now is the perfect time. Since the 2020 pandemic, our growing digital divide has been highlighted more than ever before—demonstrating how underrepresented and underserved areas of the United States, especially tribal and rural lands, are not receiving the level of connectivity they deserve. As a result, several funding programs have emerged to help close this gap, including the $3 billion Tribal Broadband Connectivity Program (TBCP) from the Biden-Harris Administration. Awards from this program are directed to tribal governments, to be used specifically for broadband deployment on tribal lands.

You no longer have the luxury of waiting. As each year passes, the digital divide grows larger. You will miss out on critical benefits for your community if you don’t start closing the gap now. Children may not have the internet access they need to finish their homework. Elders can find themselves lost trying to navigate a rapidly changing, ever-digital world. In addition, you may lose vital community members who need to move away to access work opportunities in order to support their family due to limited employment opportunities in remote/rural areas. Secure broadband keeps community members local by providing jobs, business opportunities, and methods of preserving cultural and historical information.

And with the right deployment, every tribe can maintain their autonomy and build a secure network that protects the community. There are many levels of support available, so your tribe can hold complete ownership over the network and its future.

Now is the perfect time to dig deeper into offering broadband for your community, but it can be overwhelming to get started. Where can you find the resources you need to set up broadband on tribal lands, and how can you trust them?

How Do I Learn More About Offering Broadband to My Community?

Tribes have a long history of engaging with outside partners. Sometimes it goes well—and sometimes it doesn’t. This reality means you must take extra care when vetting your broadband partner—and we understand that. 

To help tribes learn independently about starting and navigating a broadband project, we created Broadband Academy. It’s offered at no charge to anyone, whether they are a Calix customer or not. There are currently two learning paths available: Broadband Fundamentals for Business Leaders and Broadband Specifics for Tribes. Each learning path consists of separate courses and lessons, all of which help you learn exactly what you need to know about becoming a broadband service provider (BSP). 

In the Broadband Fundamentals learning path, you will walk through five critical stages of a broadband project: fund, design, build, operate, and market. You’ll also learn how to navigate funding, determine what type of network to build, and leverage partnerships in a way that’s comfortable for you.

In our newest learning path, Broadband Specifics for Tribes, you’ll find six specific lessons for tribes that cover more nuanced questions and needs. You’ll understand how to prepare your broadband services for future generations, the options you have for owning and operating a network, funding specific to tribes and how to manage it, permit requirements for broadband infrastructure deployments, and tips for running a for-profit broadband business.  

As always, I am here to help you navigate any questions or concerns—but there is never any pressure to reach out. Broadband Academy is an educational resource for broadband deployment that helps tribes learn the nuts and bolts of a project before diving in—and it can be returned to as often as you’d like, all along the journey. 

Enroll in Broadband Academy today to access the newest learning path, Broadband Specifics for Tribes.  


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