Residents of the Lac du Flambeau Band of Lake Superior Chippewa reservation faced poor internet speeds for years. So, tribal officials took matters into their own hands.

The tribe received a $25.6 million federal grant this year from the U.S. Department of Commerce. The tribe plans to use the funds to build an independent broadband system that would be installed and operated by the tribe.

The Federal Communications Commission defines an internet service as “broadband” if it delivers download speeds of 25 megabits per second and at least three megabytes of upload speed. The tribe’s chief operating officer, Dion Reynolds, has said a majority of tribal members are incapable of reaching those speeds with some “close to dial-up speeds.”

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