The Department of Public Works and Sṕq́ńiʔ Broadband Services has some exciting news to share regarding the future buildout of internet service on the Spokane Indian Reservation. Late last year, we applied for the Washington State Broadband Office (WSBO) Infrastructure Acceleration Grant and we have just received notice that we have tentatively been awarded over 16 million dollars to fund our proposed project. As described in our application, with these funds we will build out fiber optic broadband infrastructure throughout the reservation. Specifically, we were funded to construct Fiber-to-the-Home (FTTH) and Middle-Mile buildout from Wellpinit thru Ford, to Deer Park, and to Chewelah. In summary, this will allow Sṕq́ńiʔ Broadband Services to expand on their current emergency wireless deployment to a more futureproofed and robust network.
You may be aware that the Tribe already had plans to construct a smaller fiber run. This smaller, but linked, project is funded by $3.4M in ARPA funding. We are very grateful that we will no longer need to piecemeal the reservation-wide fiber optic project as it is now fully funded with the addition of the WSBO award. With the additional grant funding we will be able to bring the entire project to fruition concurrently. This newly funded project is projected to be complete in 2024; however, with existing supply chain disruption, all awardees may be granted an extension. As of now, it is taking 9-12 months to obtain needed supplies and materials for broadband construction projects, so please be patient. As with all construction projects, this will not happen overnight, but we are so excited that the process has begun.
Lastly, while we wanted to notify the community members of this most excellent news the Tribe must still complete the process of officially being notified of award and officially accepting the award. While there is still much work to be done, we would like to acknowledge the team that you have working for you and whose goal is to improve the quality of life for all Spokane Tribal citizens. This grant application was submitted as a team effort by Leslie Hardwick, Lam Chan, our consultants—NoaNet and their contracted grant writing team, and Chamisa Radford. We would also like to offer a nod to our predecessors, the STYX team, as without their initial groundwork none of this would have been possible. For more information on this grant award please visit the Washington State Broadband Office webpage under Building Infrastructure at www.commerce.wa.gov
Chamisa Radford, MURP
Director of Public Works
Office: 509-458-6592 Ext. 430
Cell Phone: 509-904-6291