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Jun 26, 2024
3 min

6 Reasons Why Tribal Communities Should Embrace Broadband

A young boy in a tribal community using broadband on a tablet

Tribes share a deep connection to nature and the land that has sustained Indigenous people for centuries. Sacred, ancestral waters unite and bring together tribal nations near and far. Broadband is another essential resource that can help to further strengthen and restore this important connection to the people and land. 

Connectivity is important—and across many tribal communities, high-speed internet access is still limited or unavailable. According to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), almost 28 percent of tribal land residents lack high-speed broadband, compared to 1.5 percent of urban residents. With more federal and private funding available than ever, the opportunity to positively impact your community’s future is now.

By embracing broadband, tribes can bring more innovation and empowerment to their people—providing transformative opportunities to share, preserve, and advance culture, language, and economic vitality to ensure future generations thrive. These community benefits include:

  1. Opening new job opportunities. Broadband projects provide new career opportunities, creating local jobs—both onsite and remote—and embedding new skills at the heart of your community. 

  2. Providing access to online learning. Connectivity promotes expanded educational opportunities, providing access to online training and development for students and youth.

  3. Enabling virtual telehealth options. High-speed internet makes healthcare more accessible, offering greater support for more vulnerable citizens in your tribe—especially elders.

  4. Boosting small business growth. New economic opportunities are available to local artisans and entrepreneurs when connectivity is prioritized, ensuring full participation in the digital economy.

  5. Expanding network for first responders. Broadband-backed operations keep first responders alerted in real time.

  6. Reimagining community events. Hosting local events and celebrations becomes far easier when vendors, exhibitors and visitors can benefit from Wi-Fi access.

Mohawk Networks LLC is a tribally owned and operated broadband service, established by the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe in Akwesasne, New York, in 2015. They leveraged the Calix Broadband Platform to connect hundreds of Akwesasne residents, businesses, and anchor institutions such as tribal government program offices, first responder services, and public schools. Today, the success of their broadband project is evident in the growing number of successful community members selling tribal fashion, art, and traditional medicine online from the comfort of their own home. These entrepreneurs are turning their passion for preserving their culture into a way to support their family and more widely ensuring the long-term sustainability of their tribe.

Tribes that invest in their community’s broadband future will reap significant benefits—by growing value for their communities today, they secure the future for the next generation.  

Find out how tribes are utilizing Calix to deliver advanced broadband networks to their communities—download “The Broadband Success Playbook for Tribes.”  

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