Earlier this year, the Office of Broadband Development released data and maps on broadband coverage of tribal areas. The numbers are high level or maybe more reflective than exact but it’s a great start on getting a handle on what’s happening in tribal areas. I thought I’d do a profile of each area, much like I have done for Minnesota Counties. Here is Leech Lake Reservation
Info on Access/Households:
- Number of households (2010 estimate): 3930
- Percent Wireline Broadband 2022 speed goal (25/3): 91.68
- Percent Wireline Broadband 2026 speed goal (100/20): 65.01
Leech Lake has been focused on broadband for years. In the Summer of 2014, with support from the Blandin Foundation, Leech Lake started a 5-year plan to build a wireless network to serve homes on the reservation. Their plan at the time…
As part of a five-year build out plan, Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe will utilize their five existing towers plus three casino towers and build eight additional towers to provide wireless broadband service throughout its tribal lands including communities like Ball Club, Inger, S Lake, Cut Foot, West Winnie, Prescott, Oak Point, Sugar Point, Federal Dam, Kego Lake, Mission, Cass River, and Onigum, where broadband services were not previously available. The towers also will boost mobile service coverage along major highways throughout the tribal lands.
Last fall (Sep 2018), Paul Bunyan Communications announced expansion of the Gigazone to the Leech Lake Reservation. That will help increase the percentage of homes with access to 100/20 access. Paul Bunyan doesn’t serve the whole reservation but they have upgraded portions with a plan to upgrade more in the future. (You can see a recent map of the Gigazone online.)
Leech Lake worked on broadband adoption/digital inclusion projects with their involvement in MIRC, a Blandin Foundation initiative and precursor to the Blandin Broadband Communities. One project included digital inclusion training that led to job placement.
Learn more about Leech Lake reservation demographics from Center for Indian Country Development.