Tribal Broadband Bootcamp

Content tagged with "Tribal Broadband Bootcamp"

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Hoopa Valley PUD General Manager Honored As Connectivity Champion

With Linnea Jackson at the helm of the Hoopa Valley Tribe Public Utilities District (HVPUD), Hoopa has become a bellwether of a new wave of Tribally-owned and managed broadband networks.

Over four short years, the Tribe has stewarded a wireless license from the FCC, launched a sovereign wireless network for its people, and undertaken massive fiber infrastructure builds funded by a multi-million dollar grant from the federal government and a historic partnership with the state of California.

Linnea’s work has transformed a story of a digital divide fueled by the disinvestment of a massive monopoly telephone company into one of connectivity through Tribal sovereignty, community power, and local self-reliance.

In recognition of her contributions in the field of Tribal broadband, the Institute for Local Self-Reliance (ILSR) named Jackson the recipient of the Connectivity Champion award at our 50th Anniversary celebration last week, alongside inspiring leaders in community composting, energy democracy, independent business, and Internet access.

Hoopa Valley PUD General Manager Linnea Jackson

“It’s been an absolute honor,” Jackson said as she accepted the award, “to help lead these infrastructure projects, which will build a legacy and help the next generation, not only with education, but telemedicine, communications… basic ways of life that are reliant on access to high speed Internet that is reliable and robust.”

RantanenTown Ranch Turns Into Broadband Playground For Tribal Broadband Bootcamp 11

TBB11 marked an exciting development for the Tribal Broadband Bootcamps.

For this latest and newest iteration, TBB co-founder Matt Rantanen graciously permitted TBB to make a permanent fiber ring installation on his property, RantanenTown Ranch, last month. While TBB will continue to host bootcamps in partnership with Tribes in different regions of North America, the launch of this permanent broadband practice arena allows TBB to chart a new path towards even more in-depth and hands-on training.

Here is a photo-filled look at the many days of prep and three days of immersive programming that went into making it happen.

“Just the fact that we saw the fiber model in its open aspect with all the drama and issues right in front of us; my friends is the best learning methodology!” – TBB 11 Attendee

TBB 11 Photo Essay Matt Pull

Ready or Not

Of course, building an entire, operating fiber network across RantanenTown Ranch was a massive undertaking that involved a lot of prep work.

TBB 11 Photo Essay Spencer Matt Tractor


New Tribal Broadband Bootcamps Slated for 2024

We are pleased to announce an exciting lineup of Tribal Broadband Bootcamps (TBB) scheduled for 2024.

TBB was started in 2021 as an initiative to connect people interested in building Tribal broadband networks - a space for folks to develop and share best practices that ensure their communities have high-quality, equitable Internet access. More than fifty Tribes or First Nations and over three hundred participants have since attended a bootcamp, increasing their knowledge, sharing their expertise, and contributing to this vibrant community.

Sponsored by Waskawiwin in partnership with ILSR’s Community Broadband Networks Initiative, TBBs are three-day immersive learning and networking events. At TBB, hands-on and interactive activities enhance a curriculum of beginner and advanced material on wireless and fiber optic networks. Technical learning is paired with discussions on important topics like policy, funding, and digital equity.

Mohawk Bootcamp

Participants with all levels of experience are encouraged to attend. Bringing together new learners and folks with decades of experience, the bootcamps create a unique opportunity for people across Indian Country to share strategies, challenges, and successes. Tribal Broadband Bootcamps help build community and capacity at the same time.

Whether you’re a technician, customer service specialist, general manager, or Tribal leader - if you’re interested in or focused on broadband in Indian Country, check out our upcoming bootcamps:

Hoopa Valley Tribe and State of California Embark on Historic Collaboration

A new chapter in state-Tribal relations is being written as the importance of robust and reliable telecommunication becomes all-too-apparent, especially in the face of more frequent extreme weather events. For the first time, a Tribe in California is building high-speed Internet infrastructure in collaboration with the state, thanks to the resilience of the Hoopa Valley people.

Tucked along the Trinity River in the northwestern corner of the state, the Hoopa Valley Reservation is located in a rural and heavily wooded region that spans over 89,000 acres, home to over 2,500 Tribal citizens. Last summer, the area was ravaged by closely-timed wildfires and thunderstorms, followed by massive landslides that collapsed into the region’s riverways, including the Trinity River, a sacred body of water for the Hoopa Tribe.

As the river turned to mud and dead fish began to wash up on its banks, alarmed residents had limited means of connecting with one another, getting timely information about what was going on, or contacting emergency services. That was because of a hidden casualty of the wild weather: the Tribe’s wireless Internet network, which sustained severe damage that not only hindered communication but also extended the time it took to assess the damage.

Upcoming Tribal Broadband Webinar on Network Sovereignty and Current Opportunities

With Tribal broadband advocates working to establish better Internet connectivity across Indian Country as the NTIA directs unprecedented federal investments to expand broadband infrastructure, the Center for Indian Country Development (CICD) will lead a timely virtual webinar on tribal broadband next week.

Nuts, Bolts, and Cables: Opportunities in Tribal Broadband” is being hosted by the CICD, headquartered at the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, in partnership with the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City and the American Indian Policy Institute at Arizona State University.

Slated for October 16th from 2:00-3:30 CT, the webinar will bring together researchers, advocates, network operators, and federal policymakers for a conversation about the challenges and opportunities for Native Nations working to improve Internet access and broadband infrastructure.

Center for Indian Country Development tribal area map screenshot

The third webinar in a series on "Cultivating Native Economies in the 21st Century," next week’s session will give participants the chance to hear from panelists and presenters with a wealth of expertise in Tribal broadband. Dr. Traci Morris (Chickasaw) and Geoff Blackwell (Muscogee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, and Omaha), leading experts in tribal broadband policy, will speak on a panel about current opportunities in the field.

NTIA Awards Another $74 Million Under the Tribal Connectivity Program, Opens Second Round of Funding

In another set of awards to connect communities in Indian Country to high-quality, reliable, and affordable broadband, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) released over $74 million to help fund Tribal Broadband projects across the country.

The Tribal Broadband Connectivity Program (TBCP), part of the Biden administration’s Consolidated Appropriations Act passed in the spring of 2021 and administered by NTIA, allocated nearly $1 billion in the first round of funding to support connectivity access and adoption initiatives in Tribal communities; namely, “broadband deployment on tribal lands, telehealth, distance learning, broadband affordability, and digital inclusion.” And while that may seem like a sizable investment, over 280 applications totaling more than $5 billion in funding requests were received before the first 90-day application window closed in September 2021, a reflection of the even larger need Tribal Nations have than what the federal program offers.

In November of 2021, the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) funneled another $2 billion into the program and extended the timeline for broadband deployment, turning the program into more than just a short-term pandemic response. Since then, NTIA has been announcing awards on a rolling basis with the program having distributed over $1.7 billion to 198 Tribal entities so far. The funding covers investment in new infrastructure, as well as upgrades and network planning.

Save the Date: ILSR’s Building for Digital Equity Returns

Save the date! ILSR’s Community Broadband Networks team is back for a second season of our Building for Digital Equity series.

You can register now here.

The free online live stream will be held on Feb. 16 from 2-3 pm CST/3-4 pm ET.

We will unpack how local communities are working with their states to challenge the FCC’s broadband maps, bringing together local stakeholders, policy advocates, and GIS and Data Visualization Specialists in one place. We will also cover local organizing for better broadband and the latest on the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP).

The event, which this year is being sponsored by UTOPIA Fiber, will cover:

UTOPIA Fiber logo

Mapping Tools

  • What is the latest on FCC map drama? 
  • What should local governments be doing around mapping? 
  • What should states be doing on mapping? 

Organizing Local Digital Equity Coalitions 

  • Role of Bootcamps 
  • Local strategies and lessons learned 

Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) 

  • What is the latest information 
  • What works/doesn't work for signing people up?

The livestream will be available on Youtube, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitch, with live viewer questions answered by the panels. Stay tuned for those links here.

Tribal Broadband Bootcamps Announced for 2023

The Tribal Broadband Bootcamps, which have worked with 20 Tribes and more than 100 participants over the past 2 years, offering hands-on training in wireless and fiber-optic networks, will continue in 2023 with an expanded schedule and expanded curriculum.

Tribal Broadband Bootcamps are planned by Matt Rantanen and our own Christopher Mitchell as part of the Indigenous Connectivity Institute at Connect Humanity.

Additional events will be announced in coming months, but the first event will be hosted by Gila River in January.

Hoopa Valley will be hosting one in May. Additional events are planned in March and June and will continue over the course of the year. More information on the bootcamps can be found in this two page pdf explainer.

For an inside look at a previous Tribal Broadband Bootcamp, watch video below:

Remote video URL


Indigenous Connectivity Summit 2022 Begins

The sixth annual Indigenous Connectivity Summit kicked off today in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, bringing together Indigenous community members and leaders; network operators; researchers; and policymakers to focus on how Indigenous communities in the United States and Canada can expand access to fast, affordable, and sustainable Internet connectivity.

Organized by The Internet Society in partnership with Connect Humanity, the four-day, in-person summit will feature workshops, presentations, lightning talks and panel discussions on a range of challenges and opportunities Indigenous communities face as they work to establish both digital equity and digital sovereignty for tribal citizens.

In announcing the summit, Sharayah Lane, Senior Advisor of Community Connectivity at the Internet Society and advisory committee member of the Indigenous Connectivity Institute, captured the meaning of the moment:

The Internet Society has been organizing the Indigenous Connectivity Summit since 2017, but it has always been our goal to transition leadership of the event to the Indigenous communities themselves. Partnering with Connect Humanity and the Indigenous Connectivity Institute will further the goal of developing community-led solutions that will bridge the digital divide for Indigenous people across North America.

A Tribal Wireless Network in Northern California - Episode 521 of the Community Broadband Bits Podcast

This week on the podcast, Christopher is joined by Matthew Douglas, Broadband Manager at the Hoopa Valley Public Utility District. At the start of the pandemic, HVPUD launched a wireless network initiative using $2 million in CARES Act funds to benefit Tribal members who had poor or no connectivity options. Matthew shared the lessons they learned during the process (including at one of the first Tribal Wireless Bootcamps), including navigating old-growth forest, navigating equipment and signal challenges in a particularly grueling topography, working with vendors with things don't go as planned, and managing sector costs. Recently, the effort won an NTIA grant to embark on a new fiber work and a wireless backhaul build to bring in significant new capacity to increase speeds and resiliency in the region.

This show is 33 minutes long and can be played on this page or via Apple Podcasts or the tool of your choice using this feed

Transcript below. 

We want your feedback and suggestions for the show-please e-mail us or leave a comment below.

Listen to other episodes here or view all episodes in our index. See other podcasts from the Institute for Local Self-Reliance here.

Thanks to Arne Huseby for the music. The song is Warm Duck Shuffle and is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution (3.0) license.