DURANT – The Choctaw Nation has been awarded a $2,987,850 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to build broadband internet infrastructure in LeFlore County.
The grant for the Choctaw Nation Community Connect project is funded through the Community-Oriented Connectivity Broadband Grant Program administered by the Rural Utilities Service.
Community Connect, a hybrid fiber and fixed wireless system, will increase public safety, improve health care and provide education opportunities. The project will impact the economy by offering approximately 300 households and 15 businesses broadband data service that is currently unavailable.
“This infrastructure initiative will benefit all residents of the area and be a huge boost to attracting industry and development dollars in the region,” said Lance Browder, senior director of IT Service Delivery for the Choctaw Nation. Browder will oversee the new project.
Included in the development will be a community center in the Hodgen School District, one of only 12 school districts in Oklahoma currently without fiber. Once operational, the public can access on-site computers and Wi-Fi service free of charge.
“The Choctaw Nation believes in living out the Chahta spirit through faith, family and culture,” Browder said. “It is our responsibility to ensure that every child has every conceivable opportunity to be successful and make a positive impact on the world. We will be partnering with public and private institutions to make this dream a reality.”