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Poarch Creek Indians expands high-speed internet with $5.5 million investment

The Poarch Band of Creek Indians has made a concerted effort to expand not only their tribal land’s high speed internet — but also the connectivity of surrounding communities.

They announced an investment in the amount of $5.5 million to establish a new and reliable network for the area. The infrastructure was installed by BearCom, a major service provider with a large amount of design, deployment, and consulting expertise. It is currently overseen by Escambia County Utilities.

“In the midst of the Covid pandemic, we were confronted with a startling realization – our rural community was light years behind in terms of connectivity. This revelation compelled us to take immediate action, recognizing the significance of addressing this issue in order to propel our community forward,” said Stephanie A. Bryan, Poarch Band of Creek Indians Chair and CEO.

“Our primary objective with investing in high-speed internet solutions was to enhance our community’s capacity to learn, connect, and foster a technological future that would facilitate work force development.”

RELATED: Poarch Band donates $1M for Thrive Alabama facility

Mike Owen, Chief Technology Officer for BearCom, spoke about his company’s goals when creating a new network.

“For us, it is about helping communities overcome the digital divide, reach digital sovereignty, and enable their members with access to fundamental resources.”

The 14-month, $5.5 million dollar project provides approximately 38 square miles of coverage area and includes 11,040 feet of network cable effecting around 500 Tribal Citizens and the local community in rural, South Alabama.

A telecommunication hub site is also part of the project. The hub will help users to have a smoother experience with the private LTE system.

Austen Shipley is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News.

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