Winnebago Reservation will get an upgrade in internet coverage

Published: Oct. 11, 2022 at 6:19 PM CDT
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SIOUX CITY (KTIV) -The Winnebago Reservation in Nebraska is expected to formally sign a grant Tuesday, which will increase internet access in the area.

The goal of expanding internet access is to bridge the digital divide gap for the tribe.

The National Telecommunications and Information Administration will be granting awards to more than 20 tribes, totaling more than $600 million.

Leaders say the $35.2 million grant for the Winnebago Tribe will extend a fiber optic network that will be fast and affordable.

”At this point, we don’t have pricing for that, but we know that part of their application was to say that for their tribal members it’s important that it be affordable,” said Laura Spining, the NTIA Director of Broadband Infrastructure.

A victory song was performed at Ho-Chunk Village in Winnebago, where the announcement was made Tuesday. It is considered a big step in the right direction for internet access for the tribe. No timeline is set for when the expansion project will begin.

“We’re going to have another period of time that it will take to get the plans approved by local whether it’s whoever owns the land to approve the rights of way to be used before the construction will begin,” said Spining.

The grant is part of a large-scale effort to make sure there is equal access to the internet for everyone.