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The Poarch Band of Creek Indians, located in Alabama, announced this past week the completion of a project that now provides its tribal citizens living in rural areas high-speed internet access.

The lack of high-speed internet among its tribal citizens living in rural areas became pronounced during the Covid-19 pandemic. So the Poarch Band of Creek Indians made a commitment to invest $5.5 million to provide a solution to those citizens living in South Alabama. 

“In the midst of the Covid pandemic, we were confronted with a startling realization - our rural community was light years behind in terms of connectivity. This revelation compelled us to take immediate action, recognizing the significance of addressing this issue in order to propel our community forward,” Poarch Band of Creek Indians Chair and CEO Stephanie A. Bryan said.

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The Tribe also recognized that the need for high-speed internet connectivity is needed beyond healthcare needs, such as those needing it for employment purposes.

“Our primary objective with investing in high-speed internet solutions was to enhance our community's capacity to learn, connect, and foster a technological future that would facilitate workforce development,” Bryan added.

The $5.5 million provides for internet coverage for approximately 38 square miles that includes 11,400 feet of network cable, benefitting approximately 500 tribal citizens and the local community in rural South Alabama.

A telecommunication hub site is also part of the project that helps provide a seamless user experience of the private LTE system with unparalleled connectivity. 

The Tribe selected BearCom, a leading service provider for their experience in serving America’s Native American tribes and commitment to offering extensive design, deployment, and consulting expertise. 

“For us, it is about helping communities overcome the digital divide, reach digital sovereignty, and enable their members with access to fundamental resources,” Mike Owen, chief technology officer for BearCom said.  

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