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Cherokee Nation

Tahlequah, Oklahoma

Award Amount: $33,946,876.75

Project Summary: The Broadband Infrastructure Deployment project proposes to install fiber and wireless technology directly connecting 5,899 unserved Native American households with 100/20 Mbps wireless service.

Update: The Cherokee Nation will leverage a nearly $34 million grant award to build 240 miles of new fiber backbone in the northeastern part of Oklahoma state.

Between the fiber and telecommunications towers, the project will bring connectivity to unserved communities in Adair, Delaware, Mayes, Cherokee, and Sequoyah Counties, according to Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin. 

The project builds on existing efforts such as distributing hotspots to Cherokee citizens in need, drive-up wi-fi locations, and hiring a digital navigator to guide renewed broadband installation planning.

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In addition to bringing Cherokee citizens online, the project will support ongoing language- preservation programs by bringing connectivity and community to areas with high concentrations of native Cherokee speakers, according to Hoskin. 

“While there are broadband service providers within the Cherokee Nation Reservation delivering quality connectivity, we still have far too many Cherokee citizens in our rural tribal communities that are being left behind and not being served,” Hoskin said.   

“Historically, these are communities with a high concentration of Cherokee speakers and as we are rebuilding our language efforts, providing service applications online, and keeping our citizens more engaged electronically, these funds will be crucial to help us continue to close the digital divide.”

About The Author
Chez Oxendine
Staff Writer
Chez Oxendine (Lumbee-Cheraw) is a staff writer for Tribal Business News. Based in Oklahoma, he focuses on broadband, Indigenous entrepreneurs, and federal policy. His journalism has been featured in Native News Online, Fort Gibson Times, Muskogee Phoenix, Baconian Magazine, and Oklahoma Magazine, among others.
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