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Yakutat Tlingit Tribe case study

  • Case
    •  The Yakutat tribe is an isolated community of about 650 on the  bay off the Gulf of Alaska
    • Have very limited broadband and face difficulties with building because they have no roads to move supplies and no electrical grids to power cellular towers. 
  •  Funding/ Support
    • 2021:  Cordova Telecom Cooperative is providing $18.88 million to expand their broadband network over 200 miles to their neighbors in Yakutat
      • Cordova Telecom’s solution is to install five towers on mountaintops and refuel them annually via helicopter
      • Cordova Telecom’s new network is expected to become operational in Yakutat by fall 2021, initially delivering connectivity at 2.6 gigabytes per second. 
    • NICEY will be financed in large part by a U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) ReConnect grant of nearly $19 million awarded to CTC in December. 
      • This money will help fund not only the deployment of the fiber network in Yakutat but also the construction of several remote wireless towers to connect the village to the broader Internet
  • Strategies for success 
    • Partnerships
      • This project could not be completed without the assistance of their neighbors
      • it’s important to count on your neighbors and work together
        • Benefits both communities: will allow for greater services in health care, schools, and social services and will positively impact lives and opportunities for everyone in communities
        • Builds stronger ties and relations
        • Cordova and Yakutat also share a long history and are home to many of the same tribes.

Key Themes:

Roadblocks - Reliance - Motivation

Issues: Outside Tribal Support - Neighbors

Strategies: partnerships - community relations

Forms of Access: Remote wireless towers - universities - health care systems 

Reference:  https://ilsr.org/native-alaskan-population-get-closer-to-accessing-high-quality-internet-service/

https://www.usda.gov/media/blog/2020/01/13/uniquely-alaskan-solution-bring-broadband-isolated-gulf-community

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