Wyden, Merkley: Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Reservation Secures $15.5 Million in Federal Funds for Broadband

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley
today announced that the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Reservation
(CTUIR) have secured more than $15.5 million for expanded high-speed Internet
network deployment and digital skills training to improve access to education,
jobs, and healthcare on Tribal lands.

“Tribal communities deserve robust access to high-speed
Internet so children are connected to classroom research, small businesses are
linked to their customers, and families can take full advantage of telehealth
opportunities,” Wyden said. “This federal investment funded by the Bipartisan
Infrastructure Law I was proud to support is great news for the Confederated
Tribes of the Umatilla Reservation, and I’ll keep battling for all Oregon
tribes to secure similar technology investments that help reverse historic
wrongs against them.” 

“From telehealth appointments, to remote learning and
business opportunities for Tribal communities, reliable access to broadband and
high-speed internet is a critical need in today’s connected world,” said
Senator Merkley. “This funding to the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla
Indian Reservation will provide broadband to residents in remote areas of the
reservation and help boost the ability to connect with health providers,
education opportunities, and business resources needed to thrive.?I will
continue to work to ensure Tribal nations and Oregonians across the state have
reliable access to high-speed internet.”

The grant from the Department of Commerce’s National
Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) will invest in
installing fiber directly connecting 342 unserved Confederated Tribes of the
Umatilla Reservation households with a minimum of 100 Mbps/100 Mbps qualifying
broadband service.

 “This grant will
enable our Tribe to provide affordable high-speed internet services to the
remote areas of our Reservation that do not currently have access to the
internet.  Over the last five years the
Tribe has been planning and building a fiber optic broadband network to connect
its governmental offices, school, health clinic and Tribal enterprises that is
critical to providing essential governmental services and jobs on the Umatilla
Indian Reservation,” said Kat Brigham, Chair of the CTUIR Board of Trustees.
“We will be able to provide broadband fiber to over 342 unserved households
enabling those families to take advantage of telework, telehealth, distance
education and job opportunities that would otherwise be out of reach.”