CHOCTAW — The Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians recently received a $15,000 grant from First Nations Development Institute as part of the Building Digital Technology Capacity in Native American Communities Project and was made possible through generous support from Comcast Communications Technology Fund.

"This grant allows us to take a major step forward in our efforts to provide complete broadband services on all Tribal lands," says John Hendrix, MBCI Director of Economic Development. "The COVID-19 pandemic has reinforced the importance of quality Internet connectivity, especially regarding education and emergency preparedness. We are completely focused on this issue over the next year."

The grant funds will be used to meet the following specific objectives:

• Apply for all available 2.5 GHz spectrum through the Rural Tribal Window, which will provide capacity for 5G wireless.

• Finalize review of the Network Diagram for the existing fiber-optic network.

• Complete review of OTDR testing for existing fiber-optic infrastructure.

• Gather and submit GIS map data to FCC for trust lands in Lauderdale County Tennessee, which is Tribal land covered by the MBCI.

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