- By Chez Oxendine
- Economic Development
Hoopa Valley Tribe
Project Summary: The Broadband Infrastructure Deployment project proposes to install fiber and wireless to directly connect 1,045 unserved Native American households, 64 Tribal businesses, and 19 community anchor institutions with fiber-to-the-home with 25 Gbps/3 Gbps service, construct a Tribal data center, install a tower, and provide workforce development training.
Update: The Hoopa Valley Tribe has undergone a digital transformation in the wake of COVID-19, becoming the nexus point for several initiatives meant to bring the tribe’s California reservation online.
Between Acorn Wireless, a tribally-owned enterprise founded in 2021, the Hoopa Valley Broadband Initiative, a $9.5 million build-out project under the Hoopa Valley Public Utilities District (HVPUD), and a $65 million award from the Tribal Broadband Connectivity Program, the tribe has gone all-in on getting new households connected to the internet.
In particular, the Hoopa Valley NTIA Grant Application Broadband Infrastructure Deployment project (as the TBCP project is named) aims to extend a fiber backbone to a fixed wireless access tower to widen cell signal service, alongside fiber-to-the-home connections for 1,045 unserved tribal households.
Planned improvements upgraded equipment in the K’imaw Medical Center, workforce development, the construction of a data center to house new equipment, and the creation of 20 new jobs throughout the construction process.
“This will be a gamechanger for our community,” Hoopa Valley Tribe Chairman Joe Davis said in a statement.
The new fiber will, along with a major installation by the neighboring Yurok Tribe, be the first hardwired connectivity in the region, per HVPUD General Manager Linnea Jackson. Currently, HVPUD is bolstering its workforce (aiming to climb to at least 25 employees from 16 at the start of the project) and completing preliminary environmental work ahead of construction, Jackson told nonprofit Benton Institute for Broadband and Society.
“We're looking to see how we [can] keep the money local, but also meet the technical requirements of it," Jackson said. "We want to make sure that we're utilizing the dollars that have been invested here to the best of our ability, making sure that we're able to sustain the infrastructure. The goal is for us to build the fiber and get our people trained up."
Hoopa Valley’s award marks another major project in the region alongside the Yurok Tribe, who are leveraging a $61.6 million award toward building similar infrastructure throughout their Klamath reservation.