Tribal Broadband Connectivity Awards, Connected Nation’s New Hire, Liberty to Acquire Natel

More than 42,000 unserved Native American households will have access to high-speed Internet.

Tribal Broadband Connectivity Awards, Connected Nation’s New Hire, Liberty to Acquire Natel
Ione Band of Miwok Indians

October 12, 2022 – The National Telecommunications and Information Administration said Tuesday that is awarding $600 million to 23 new tribal entities from the Tribal Broadband Connectivity Program.

More than 42,000 unserved Native American households will be connected to high-speed Internet access and over 1,000 new jobs will be created through this effort.

Alaska, Arizona, California, Kansas, Minnesota, Montana, North Dakota, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Oregon, Texas, Utah, Washington and Wisconsin are set to receive the money, which will go toward projects including fiber and wireless builds.

Over $1 billion has been awarded to 94 tribal entities through the program, which was funded by the Infrastructure, Investment and Jobs Act.

Connected Nation adds senior executive

Broadband advocacy non-profit Connected Nation said Tuesday that it has hired Pamela Lloyd to its senior team to provide strategic counsel to the organization’s digital inclusion programming.

Lloyd was previously the vice president of government healthcare and education at GCI, advocating for equitable broadband access to underserved rural communities, clinics and schools.

“I am honored and privileged to work with Connected Nation,” Lloyd said in a press release. Connected Nation’s “mission aligns with my firm belief that access to information is fundamental to creating a thriving society and having access to broadband is a great equalizer.  It is critical for ALL to have access to information in order to be successful in a global and highly-connected marketplace.”

Connected Nation CEO Tom Ferree added in the release: “Having known Pam and followed her illustrious career for more than 15 years, I am confident that her experience will prove invaluable in our mission to close the Digital Divide in all its contexts,” he said, adding “She has a proven track record of using technology to help unserved and under-served individuals and communities across the country.”

Liberty Communications acquired Natel Broadband

Liberty Communications said on Monday that it would agree to acquire Natel Broadband’s assets, expanding its operations in Iowa.

Liberty Communications provides phone, television and internet services, while Natel Broadband maintains a network that runs fiber to the home and fixed wireless network, both providing services in the state.

The combination will allow Liberty Communications to aggressively reach new customers, expand its product portfolio and grow as a unified organization, Liberty Communications CEO Justin Stinson said in the release.

“We are thrilled that Liberty Communications is aligned with our core focus of providing internet solutions to rural Iowans. Their dedication to a positive employee culture, great customer service, and to helping Iowa communities thrive make them an outstanding fit to continue Natel’s mission,” said Mike Schill, Natel Broadband president in the release.

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