LINCOLN, NEB. – U.S. Senator Deb Fischer, a member of the Senate Commerce Committee, today announced a broadband grant for the Winnebago tribe of Nebraska. The Winnebago tribe will receive $35,252,376 to install fiber directly connecting 602 unserved Tribal households, 40 unserved Tribal businesses, and 16 unserved Tribal community anchor institutions. 

This grant is from the National Telecommunications and Information Administration’s Tribal Broadband Connectivity Program. The funding for the grant was made possible by the 2021 bipartisan infrastructure law, which Senator Fischer supported.

“Broadband is absolutely essential to modern life. It can help to grow our local economies, ensure people have access to critical services like telehealth, and incentivize young people to remain active in rural communities. This broadband funding will finally bring reliable, high-speed internet to unserved areas in the Winnebago Tribal community. I am pleased to see the many important investments the infrastructure law continues to bring to our great state,” said Senator Fischer. 

“The Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska, through our Winnebago Tribe Broadband Connectivity Project-Infrastructure Deployment Project, looks forward to the realization of all that high-speed internet can bring to our reservation residents and businesses. We see this as a huge advancement that will open the door for new opportunities for education, commerce, and communication on the Winnebago Reservation. Until now we were never able to make access to viable speeds to support video conferencing, teleworking, telehealth, etc. The lack of adequate bandwidth was particularly emphasized during the pandemic,” said Tribal Chairwoman Victoria Kitcheyan.

“Reuben A. Snake, Jr once said ‘Ho-Chunks (Winnebago) working together nothing can prevent us from achieving our dreams and visions to once again be self-sufficient and economically self-reliant.’ I have read that statement to myself quite a few different times and thought about what it means and how it relates in the IT World. The NTIA funds provides the Winnebago Tribe the ability to do just what Mr. Snake stated,” said Winnebago Tribe IT Director Brandon Stout.

Sen. Fischer has been a steadfast advocate of increasing broadband access. Thanks to the 2021 infrastructure law, the state of Nebraska is expected to receive over $200 million to expand broadband networks and access. 

Read more about Sen. Fischer’s work HERE.