White Earth Reservation
White Earth Reservation has seen an increase in broadband access of 100 megabits per second (Mbps) down and 3 up to almost 90 percent. They have the same access to 25/3 Mbps, which is nice because it means the whole (served) community it built for future demand
They are one of the few communities where looking at fixed, non-mobile broadband versus wireline makes a difference. Looking at wireline, they have no access to 100/20 Mbps.
White Earth is the largest reservation in Minnesota. There are a number of providers around the areas, which usually helps with competition. In 2017, Garden Valley received a $1.3 million loan from a MN Border to Border Broadband grant specifically to serve areas in Mahnomen County, including portions of White Earth Reservation. In November, 2019, AT&T announced the installation of a FirstNet (Public Safety) cell site near the Reservation. The site was built to help improve coverage along the eastern edge of the White Earth Reservation.
White Earth is a Blandin Broadband Community. That helps to promote greater us of broadband but also helped to provide Wi-Fi access to community members, libraries, community workforce, and schools. During the pandemic, they even started working on cell boosters for areas without access. (You can learn more about the various Blandin-sponsored projects in the video below.)
In August 2021, White Earth got a grant to provide a combination of broadband and fiber infrastructure, and fund other services that will help students connect to internet resources and thrive in remote learning environments.
All of these efforts will help White Earth get to ubiquitous broadband.
Has Worked with Blandin Foundation
Has Received MN Grant(s)
Garden Valley Telephone Company – Bejou – GRANT $1,304,421
This last mile project will serve 214 unserved households, 17 unserved businesses, and 7 unserved community anchor institutions in Bejou and surrounding rural areas within Mahnomen County, including portions of the White Earth Reservation in northwestern Minnesota. In a funding partnership with the State of Minnesota, Garden Valley Telephone will improve broadband service levels to 1 Gbps down and 1 Gbps up, exceeding the 2026 state speed goal. Bejou and White Earth leaders agree that the area is in desperate need of fast reliable Internet service to help the area progress, especially as technology continues to advance around them.
U.S. Congress: CD 7, CD 8
MN Senate: 02
MN House: 02B