- By Chez Oxendine
- Economic Development
Chippewa Cree Tribe
Box Elder, Montana
Project Summary: The Tribe's broadband infrastructure deployment project proposes to install fiber and fixed wireless infrastructure to directly connect 770 unserved Native American households with fiber-to-the-home with 1 Gbps/1 Gbps and/or fixed wireless to the home with 100 Mbps/20 Mbps service.
Update: The Chippewa Cree Tribe is in completing the planning phase of its $15.3 million project that will be a “game changer” for its reservation in Box Elder, Montana, according to a tribal spokesperson who asked not to be named because he didn’t have permission to speak to the media.
The project will install roughly 51.5 miles of fiber cable to deliver high speed broadband to 645 tribal households, 20 Cree-owned businesses, and 25 community anchor institutions. In addition, the tribe will build six communications towers to leverage the new backhaul towards a fixed wireless connection for 125 unserved tribal households in outlying areas around the reservation.
That’s going to make a huge impact on the reservation for people who couldn’t otherwise consistently access telehealth, remote learning, and remote work services, the spokesperson told Tribal Business News.
“It’s huge in all areas - health, education, economic development, small businesses - it’s going to be a big deal for everyone,” the spokesperson said. “It’s a win-win for everybody.”
Construction activities for the project should begin in the spring, after the tribe completes some “planning stages,” the spokesperson said.
“We’re still bringing on our contractor and engineers,” they said. “But this will serve the whole reservation and even provide service for some people off the reservation that may be close by but off the beaten path.”