Santee Sioux Nation of Nebraska awarded $500,000 to boost tribal Internet services

By: - May 29, 2023 9:42 pm

(Getty Images)

LINCOLN — The Santee Sioux Nation of Nebraska will receive $500,000 for high-speed internet development as part of the Biden Administration’s “Internet for All” initiative.

The Santee Sioux was one of nine tribal entities that will share a combined $4.5 million from the Tribal Broadband Connectivity Program. 

(Getty Images)

Alonzo Denney, chairman of the Santee Sioux Tribe said the $500,000 would help the tribe’s continued efforts to become a self-sustaining and solely owned Indian Internet Service Provider for its community in Knox County.

“Covid-19 demonstrated the digital divide our people, families and businesses have encountered because of underserved and unserved areas of our tribal lands for everyday broadband needs,” Denney said. 

He said the lack of digital services demonstrated the “urgent need” for the tribe to rely on its own people to seek ways to provide reliable services to its community. 

“We now have a financial start to our business goals and are grateful,” he said. “We will continue to seek out additional funding opportunities to find complete resolution to our digital needs for our tribal community.”

Nebraska Gov. Jim Pillen said the grant would help provide services necessary for growth in the 21st-century economy.

“As access to broadband expands, so do opportunities for improved workforce participation, education, telehealth, and future business investment for local communities,” said Pillen.

The Tribal Broadband Connectivity Program is run by the Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration, which is the advisory agency to the president on telecommunications and information policy matters.

NTIA programs focus on expanding broadband Internet access, advancing public safety communications and economic growth.


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Cindy Gonzalez
Cindy Gonzalez

Senior Reporter Cindy Gonzalez, an Omaha native, has more than 35 years of experience, largely at the Omaha World-Herald. Her coverage areas have included business and real estate development; regional reporting; immigration, demographics and diverse communities; and City Hall and local politics.