Tlingit & Haida heads up broadband initiative in southeast

    "Outer Coast, Southeast Alaska" by Umnak is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

    Juneau, Alaska (KINY) - Tlingit & Haida Central Council has plans to improve broadband in southeast Alaska, a representative spoke on the tribe's Tribal Broadband Initiative during the southeast conference last week.

    Tlingit & Haida's aim with the Initiative is to remove the barriers, close the digital divide, and move Southeast Alaska to the forefront of the digital age in the next year.

    With grants coming and the political will for broadband expansion, Central Council tribal broadband representative, Chris Cropley, said that currently the region has a once-in-a-generation opportunity to bring broadband to the unserved in Southeast Alaska.

    "We've got government health care, commercial, and education all coming together, realizing the power of broadband," said Cropley. "We all know there are some holes in Southeast Alaska, and we've been working with carriers like at&t and the rest of those guys to help see what we can do to close those."

    Cropley said seven tribes have joined the consortium which involves the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration's tribal broadband connectivity program. The still-pending trillion-dollar infrastructure bill would add 2-3 billion for the national program.

    The tribe sent in an application for funding to the tune of $450 million dollars with the goal to buy broadband internet from carriers and build out towers throughout Southeast Alaska.

    "To build out that infrastructure, to build towers where there are not towers, to lease towers where there are towers, and to provide Internet to everyone whether they can afford it or not," he said. "That's tricky, I equate it to opening a food bank, we're not looking to put any restaurants out of business, whether you're Ludwigs or a McDonald's or what have you, we're just looking to again close that digital divide for the next 10 to 15 years."

    A part of their plan is providing voucher internet from existing carriers and common carriers. Another aspect of the plan includes low Earth orbit satellites to bring in even more internet to locations that were traditionally served by radio, microwave, or fiber optics.

    Tlingit & Haida is looking at putting local tech support into communities in Southeast.

    "We've been talking to quite a few people that are very interested in working with us on that, if there's a community that already has some IT folks in it, we're looking at leveraging that, people that don't, we're looking to build out care," said Cropley. "So we're super excited not just to tackle this to get ones and zeros to the door, we're looking to do full service"

    Cropley said the tribe hopes to go forward and execute these plans in the next year.

    Back in August, the tribe's application was accepted for the Federal Communications Commission's 2.5 GHz Rural Tribal Priority Window. The program provides an opportunity for tribes in rural areas to gain access to prime mid-band spectrum to deploy broadband and other next-generation wireless services.

    More from News of the North

    • CCFR air rescues injured man from road near Hoonah

      Juneau, Alaska (KINY) - Capital City Fire and Rescue responded to a remote road near Hoonah on Sunday, for an air rescue of a young man who had been in a motorcycle accident. News of the North reached out to assistant fire chief Travis Mead, who coordinated CCFR's response.

    • COVID-19 update 10-26

      Juneau, Alaska (KINY) - 14 positive cases of COVID-19 were reported in Juneau residents yesterday, by the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services. 4 people are hospitalized at Bartlett regional hospital for the virus. No one at the Juneau School District has tested positive since Monday.

    • CDC approves booster shots for Johnson & Johnson and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines

      Juneau, Alaska (KINY) - According to a recent release from the City and Borough of Juneau, The CDC has officially endorsed booster shots of the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines for certain populations.

    • CBJ launches new tax transparency tool

      Juneau, Alaska (KINY) - The City and Borough of Juneau is implementing a new resource intended to allow residents to see how their tax dollars are spent. The program, called Taxpayer Receipt, will provide residents an estimated breakdown of programs and services supported by residents' property and sales tax dollars.

    • Falcons Volleyball Works Through Anchorage Tournament 

      Juneau, Alaska (KINY) - The Thunder Mountain volleyball team took one last tuneup on the road last weekend to Anchorage, playing Eagle River on Thursday and a host of teams in the Dimond/Service Tournament on Friday and Saturday. They will begin a final home stand against Ketchikan this week, including a senior night on Friday, and then prepare for the Region V Championships in Ketchikan Nov. 5-6.

    • Alaska special session trudges on with little action

      JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — The Alaska Legislature is in special session, but it's quiet at the Capitol in Juneau.

    • State drops open container citation against Alaska lawmaker

      JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — The state has dropped a $220 citation issued to an Alaska state lawmaker for having an open container in his vehicle.

    • Workshop to be held on invasive species in Alaska

      Juneau, Alaska (KINY) - The 2021 Alaska Invasive Species Workshop will be hosted through Zoom on Nov. 3-4, from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. both days with the theme “Join the Persistence: Working Behind the Screen to Prevent and Manage Invasive Species.”

    • Alaska Weather Army seeking volunteers

      Juneau, Alaska (KINY) - The Nationwide Community Collaborative Rain, Hail and Snow Network is reaching out for more volunteers in Alaska to help with measuring rain, hail and snow whenever it falls in their area.

    • Juneau assembly swears in members, reorganizes committees

      Juneau, Alaska (KINY) - The Juneau Assembly met Monday evening and took up the swearing-in of members, and provided recognition of outgoing assembly member Loren Jones.

    • COVID-19 update 10-25

      Juneau, Alaska (KINY) - 45 positive cases of COVID-19 were reported in Juneau from Oct. 23-25, by the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS), 44 are residents and one was a nonresident. Currently, there are 4 people hospitalized at Bartlett Regional Hospital for the virus.

    • Husky Cheer Team are Grand Master Champs

      Juneau, Alaska (KINY) - The Juneau Husky Cheer Team went from being part of Friday night’s high school football state championship game in Anchorage to Saturday’s Rally in the Valley cheer competition in Palmer with a transition from freezing field to heated gym that was as flawless as their performances in both. 

    Comments

    Add a comment

    Log in to the club to add your comment.

    Current Conditions

    Crude Oil Price