Merkley, Wyden Announce $250,000 for the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation to Expand High-Speed Internet   

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Oregon’s U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden announced today the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation (CTUIR) are receiving $250,000 in federal funding to create a strategic plan that will enable CTUIR to expand broadband service to the unserved areas of the Umatilla Indian Reservation.  

“Equitable access to affordable, reliable, high-speed internet ensures individuals, families, and businesses can be connected wherever they are,” Merkley said. “This funding will allow CTUIR to make improvements to the economy, education, and quality of life for folks across hundreds of miles of rural Oregon.”  

“Just as water is essential for the livelihoods and economies of communities in rural areas, access to reliable broadband internet is just as important in this modern technological age,” Wyden said. “This funding was exactly what I fought for when we corrected the Department of Commerce’s national broadband map just under a year ago and brought historic investments in Oregon’s underserved rural areas. I fought for communities like the Umatilla Tribes then, and I’ll continue to fight for more access to similar resources in the future.”

This funding is part of an announcement from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) of 216 new projects nationwide, totaling $772.6 million. These projects will benefit more than 1 million people living in remote areas of the country by providing reliable high-speed internet access, clean, safe water and a range of support for rural families, agricultural producers and small businesses as part of President Biden’s Investing in America agenda.