This announcement will serve to inform the community of the Spokane Tribe’s Emergency Residential Internet and Wi-Fi plan for the upcoming 2020-21 school year. As we are all aware, COVID-19 has caused a major shift in how we live our lives and do everyday things. For many, this shift means that work, school, and/or healthcare services must take place from home. Therefore, internet and Wi-Fi have become household necessities in order to accommodate life under the pandemic. With that being said, the Tribe has taken it upon themselves to provide Tribal members who are students, telecommuting for work, distance learning, and those who rely on telehealth, etc., with emergency residential internet and Wi-Fi.
The Tribe hopes to have residential Wi-Fi services deployed to Tribal members reservation wide. During the Wellpinit Parent-Teacher conferences, the school district gathered surveys from parents to get the number of families and students in need. For students and families that are Tribal members but do not attend Wellpinit (students of Reardan, Hunters, Springdale, etc.), please reach out to the Tribe to ensure that your internet and Wi-Fi needs are met. Likewise, Tribal members who do not live on the reservation but need residential Wi-Fi support should reach out to Maria Cullooyah at that time.
There will be an initial agreement that families will have to sign acknowledging that, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Tribe will pay the initial startup costs and an additional three months of service. The Tribe is working with Verizon Wireless and AT&T on prepaid Wi-Fi “jet packs,” which will provide Wi-Fi to households depending on where cellphone service can be accessed. For those who live in areas without cellphone service, the Tribe is partnering with Simpli Unlimited, a satellite company that will be able to reach rural areas. Though the satellite services are not prepaid, the Tribe will still pay all initial costs and three months of service.
After the first three months of service are up, the Tribe will decide on whether to extend the residential Wi-Fi services. This decision will be based on Tribal need, overall COVID-19 response, and Tribal budget. Specifically, this decision will heavily rely on whether the COVID-19 emergency assistance money that we received gets extended past December 2020. If the tribe decides not to extend Wi-Fi service, the head of household and/or parents will sign an agreement acknowledging the continued cost will be at the discretion of the parent/guardian.
Verizon Wireless 8800 Jet Pack Cost $149.99, $35/month Wi-Fi
AT & T Nighthawk Mobile Hotspot $249.99, $75/month Wi-Fi
Please email for inquiries for Simpli Unlimited satellite services and will only be eligible for this if your address does not fall in the service area for Verizon and AT & T.
We are currently waiting for a delivery date on equipment, at that time, we will post dates/times for families to come to the Pow Wow Pavilion to sign an acknowledgement form and receive the Jet Pack. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the Tribe’s Assistant Director/Real Estate Development Director, Maria Cullooyah. Her work number is (509) 458-6548 but has been telecommuting, therefore her cellphone number is (509)993-6679, and her email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you and we look forward to serving our families!