Magellan helps secure ReConnect funding for Michigan tribal broadband project

Oct. 18, 2022
The federal ReConnect program provides loans and grants to cover the costs of construction, improvement or acquisition of facilities and equipment needed to provide broadband service to eligible rural areas.

Magellan, a developer of broadband networks for utilities, co-ops, municipalities and tribal entities, this month announced it has successfully secured $24.9 million for the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians for the tribe's fiber-to-the-premise (FTTP) broadband internet project.

The project funding comes from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Rural Utility Service (RUS) ReConnect grant program. The tribe plans to use the funding to expand high-speed internet access to its reservation lands in Chippewa and Mackinac counties in Michigan, providing access to 1 Gbps broadband service.

As recounted in a press release, the tribe has been busy working on environmental reviews, and will begin low-level design, engineering and permitting this fall with the goal of being in construction in early 2023.

All broadband installation will undergo a competitive solicitation process in compliance with the rules laid out by the USDA Rural Utility Service.

The ReConnect program provides loans and grants to cover the costs of construction, improvement or acquisition of facilities and equipment needed to provide broadband service to eligible rural areas. Applications for the current round of funding under ReConnect are due November 2.

The Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians is a sovereign, federally recognized, American Indian tribe. Our Tribe was federally recognized in 1972 with a current membership of over 49,000 members. The tribe is headquartered in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, and its governing board spanning the seven eastern counties of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan including (Alger, Delta, Luce, Mackinac, Marquette, and Schoolcraft). The tribal government works towards the perpetuation of our Anishinaabe way of life, the welfare and prosperity of our people, and to protect our property and resources for the next seven generations.

Magellan provides planning, engineering, implementation and management of advanced fiber and broadband networks.

QUOTES

"Magellan's experience in navigating the grant application process was a key part of our success in securing this funding. They provided a thorough and detailed application response that demonstrated our communities' need for broadband access. This collaborative effort allows us to connect our tribal reservation lands with reliable broadband that will provide many benefits, including access to telehealth, job opportunities and remote learning environments." -- Sault Tribe vice chairman Austin Lowes

"The need for broadband is critical for tribal entities, and we are honored to work with the Sault Ste. Marie tribe to bring their members broadband service," says "Our team's extensive experience in grant procurement, design and engineering, and construction and project management services will play a crucial role in bringing life-changing fiber broadband services to those communities." -- Magellan President and CEO John Honker

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