$2.5M grant awarded to Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe for internet, laptops
The Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe was awarded $2.5 million to help provide fiber-based, high speed internet services to tribal households in Flandreau and surrounding areas.
The federal grant is part of the Tribal Broadband Connectivity Program, which provides tribal members with prepaid internet for five years.
“With this grant, tribal members will have the opportunity to implement robust, gigabit, fiber broadband services into their lives,” stated Valley FiberCom CEO Jeff Symens in a press release.
Valley FiberCom will be the tribe’s internet service provider for the duration of the grant, which will also include giving all qualifying tribal households a laptop.
As part of the collaboration, Valley FiberCom will offer computer classes on using the laptop as well as internet service applications.
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“This opportunity will help place [Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe] members on a level playing field with other area citizens and businesses, creating sustainability of broadband access and increased opportunities,” Symens added.
Additional information on how tribe members can sign up for services will be released later this fall.