Western U.S. Tribal Communities Adopt Cambium Networks' Wireless Fabric Technology

Schools, healthcare facilities and entire communities connect with high-capacity fixed wireless broadband and Wi-Fi technology.

  • Cambium Networks

 

ROLLING MEADOWS, Ill. -- Cambium Networks is supplying tribal communities in the Western United States with fixed wireless broadband and Wi-Fi solutions to deliver affordable high-speed internet access. The deployments are part of an ongoing effort by Cambium Networks and their channel partners to help bring broadband service to underserved communities and help close a digital divide that has left Indigenous populations at a disadvantage.

In the past year, Cambium Networks has worked with tribal entities as well as with channel partners to provide affordable high-speed connectivity to 11 remote tribal nations in California, Washington, New Mexico, Arizona and Oregon. Like many Indigenous communities, these tribal nations are among the least connected groups in the United States. The tribal nations have funded these initiatives in part through the U.S. Federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, also known as the CARES Act. Collectively, these deployments will improve the lives of more than 100,000 people. 

Cambium Networks is working with EnerTribe, a consulting firm that specializes in developing communications infrastructure and economic growth in Indigenous regions. Among their projects, EnerTribe is deploying high speed broadband connectivity over the 2.5 GHz, 3 GHz, CBRS and 5 GHz bands along with Wi-Fi access to members of the Yurok, Karuk and Hoopa tribes in California. Cambium Networks is also working with a tribal nation in Arizona and two tribal nations in New Mexico that are deploying several Cambium Networks Wi-Fi and backhaul solutions.

"Spectrum is a natural resource. Unfortunately, even though high-speed internet is key to developing local economies, most of the Native American tribes still have little to no broadband and building infrastructure," said Forest James, CEO of EnerTribe, Inc. "There's no silver bullet, but partnerships like the one we have with Cambium Networks are proving invaluable for us to narrow the digital divide for these communities."

The work with EnerTribe and similar partners is part of Cambium Networks' longer-range goal to use its expertise and wireless fabric portfolio of solutions to close the digital divide by providing high-speed broadband connections to underserved areas including Indigenous communities, educational institutions, and municipalities.

Since 2012, Cambium Networks has been working with Sacred Wind Communications, a telecommunications company providing the first home-based telephone service and high-speed internet to the Navajo Nation. The Navajo reservation is home to tribal members who live in remote areas of Northwestern New Mexico, Northeastern Arizona, and Southern Utah, many of whom have no access to the internet. Sacred Wind operates on Navajo Lands in New Mexico where approximately 7,000 homes are scattered over 3,200 square miles within its service territory.

"Cambium Networks' fixed wireless broadband technology, Wi-Fi access and centralized management are very well suited for these applications because not only do we have the products that fit all these different needs, but we can also mobilize our entire ecosystem of engineers, consultants and neighboring service providers that already use our equipment to help solve problems," said Atul Bhatnagar, president and CEO, Cambium Networks. "Our mission is to connect the unconnected and deliver results. Our partners have deployed our fixed wireless and Wi-Fi access solutions all over the world in the most extreme conditions to deliver connectivity to underserved populations and remote geographic areas. Our work with tribal communities extends that mission to Indigenous Americans."

The urgency to bridge the digital divide has become especially acute in the COVID era with students forced to connect online for classes and many people working remotely. In extremely remote regions, such as many of those populated by Indigenous communities, broadband also delivers telemedicine to families who are unable to get regular in-person medical care.

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