Mescalero Apache Reservation case study

  • Case
    • Federally recognized as the Mescalero Apache Tribe of the Mescalero Apache Reservation,  the tribe is located in New Mexico with a population around 3,156. 
    • The tribe has had phone services through tribal owned Mescalero Apache Telecom services, but has been a gradually growing service to include full range of broadband for the community
  •  Funding/ Support
    • 2015: $5.397,000 loan from the Rural Development’s Utilities Service’s Telecommunications Program and the Substantially Underserved Trust Land Program given to Mescalero Apache Telephone Inc. financed a multimillion-dollar broadband communication system. 
      • MATI can upgrade specific portions of its copper cable facilities with fiber, primarily aimed at the homes of 1,178 telephone customers and 500 data customers currently served by the company, which is a wholly-owned corporation of the tribe that operates one exchange serving the reservation. 
    • Mescalero Apache Telecom: the tribe’s owned and operated telephone and Internet service provider
      • first tribally owned telephone company to bring broadband service to the entire residential community
  • Strategies for success 
    • Revenue / Economy
      • Broadband is critical for the tribe to market its main source of revenue, the Inn of the Mountain Gods Resort Casino: Marketing tool
      • Puts money back into stimulating the economy
      • If the tribe is going to have economic development broadband is a key to attracting it and building the infrastructure
    • Focus on the people
      • Gives students a chance to get back to class (virtually)
      • Allows fire and police to work from own stations instead of working from subunits
      • Everyday needs to making calls and texting from the comfort of one’s home

Key Themes: Economy – Marketing – Motivation

Issues: Economic Development – Advertising

Strategies: Information Sharing – Cultural Development

Forms of Access: Community – Calling / texting