P R E S S R E L E A S E
For Immediate Release: October 17, 2013
KARUK TRIBE AWARDED SIX MILLION DOLLARS TO BRING BROADBAND TO RURAL NORTHERN CALIFORNIA
- Klamath River Rural Broadband Initiative is a joint collaboration between the Karuk Tribe and the Yurok Tribe and will provide broadband and Internet access to the communities of Orick, Orleans, Johnsons, Wautec and Weitchpec
Redding, CA – Today the California Public Utility Commission (CPUC) awarded the Karuk Tribe $6,602,422 from the California Advanced Services Fund (CASF) to install 82.3 miles of fiber optic cable to the remote region of Northern Humboldt County. The project, called the Klamath River Rural Broadband Initiative (KRRBI), is a joint collaboration between the Karuk Tribe and the Yurok Tribe to provide broadband and Internet access to the communities of Orick, Orleans, Johnsons, Wautec and Weitchpec.
“The Karuk Tribe is very excited about the recent broadband award,” says Karuk Tribal Chairman Russell Attebery. “This will provide business opportunities and jobs. Communications in rural areas have always been difficult. This project will help solve the communication problems we have faced.”
Vital community and government institutions will benefit from the project, including health care facilities, schools, rural fire camps, fire stations, public safety installations and several other state, federal and tribal government offices. The communication and economic development opportunities that grow from this project will be “essential to the future of the region”, according to IT Director Eric Cutright of the Karuk Tribe.
The fiber optic portion of KRRBI runs along highways 101, 96 and 169, and on Bald Hills Road. The fiber will connect with existing fiber optic networks owned by Siskiyou Telephone in the east andSuddenlink Communications on the coast. In each community along the fiber route, a mix of wireless technologies will be utilized to provide service, including WiFi, microwave and white space radios. In addition to collaborating with the Yurok Tribe, the Karuk Tribe has partnered with native owned businesses EnerTribe and Native Link Communications.
The California Advanced Services Fund has helped to bridge the “digital divide” in unserved and underserved areas of the state since 2008. CASF’s original funding was $100,000,000, and in 2010 the funding was increased to a total of $225,000,000. Earlier this month, Governor Gerry Brown signed Senate Bill 740, which again expanded the CASF program by another $90 million, to $315,000,000 and extending the program through the year 2020.