Sault Tribe Gets  Million To Expand Broadband |  News, Sports, Jobs

Sault Tribe Gets $25 Million To Expand Broadband | News, Sports, Jobs


SAULT STE MARIE, MICH. — De Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians has announced that it has been awarded a Rural Development Broadband ReConnect grant totaling $24,944,355 from the USDA’s Rural Utility Service (USDA-RUS).

The grant will enable the tribe to expand high-speed Internet access for its members by installing a fiber-to-local network at Sault Tribe’s Reservation Lands in Chippewa and Mackinac counties. The network will provide 1 gigabit broadband services to all subscribed households.

“Bringing affordable and reliable broadband service to our region is key to connecting our membership to medical specialists, job opportunities and distance learning courses,” said Sault Tribe Vice President Austin Lowes. “This rural development investment will strengthen tribal reserves of Sault Ste. Marie, south to Kincheloe and to St. Ignace. The Sault Tribe Board of Directors would like to thank all of the tribe’s employees who have been involved in making this opportunity a reality. This has truly been a collaborative effort and has the support of the entire board of directors and executive staff. We would also like to thank Cloverland Electric for supporting this grant opportunity.”

The grant was supported by several elected Michigan leaders, including U.S. Senators Debbie Stabenow and Gary Peters, Congresswoman Jack Bergman, and Governor Gretchen Whitmer. Each leader was a major supporter of the Sault tribe’s application and helped obtain the necessary funds from USDA-RUS.

“”High-speed internet means so much to our country’s tribal communities, both in Michigan and across the country, and I’m thrilled to be able to help expand broadband through the dual infrastructure package,‘ said Senator Stabenow. “A better, more reliable internet connects kids with more resources for school, connects patients with the doctors they need, and helps small business owners access a world of new customers.”

“Whether you’re a student, running a small business, or working from home – reliable high-speed internet access is critical to keeping our communities strong and connected,” said Senator Peters. “I was delighted to support this investment in critical broadband infrastructure to ensure Sault Tribe members across the UP have access to essential health services, educational and business opportunities, and high-paying jobs.”

“With high-speed internet as our resource, we can grow our economy, create jobs and improve health and education outcomes in every corner of our state,” said Lieutenant Governor Garlin Gilchrist II. “Governor Whitmer and I were proud to support the Sault Tribe in its grant application, and we look forward to continuing our work to create opportunities by connecting communities in Michigan.”

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