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CENIC Recognizes Tribal Broadband Bootcamp for Fostering a Network of Indigenous People to Improve Broadband Access and Adoption on Tribal Lands

CENIC Announces Recipient of 2024 Innovations in Networking Award for Broadband Applications

CENIC is pleased to present the 2024 Innovations in Award for Broadband Applications to the Tribal Broadband Bootcamp in recognition of its success in fostering a network of Indigenous people working across Tribal lands to build broadband networks and develop best practices ensuring communities have high-quality Internet access. The CENIC Innovations in Networking Awards recognize exemplary people, projects, and organizations that leverage high-bandwidth networking.

Future-facing or even adequate broadband coverage is routinely lacking for Tribal Californians, especially in the rural and remote areas where they often reside. In these areas, construction, testing, permitting, obtaining licenses, and equipment benchmarking present daunting levels of complexity, requiring a high level of Tribal-specific expertise to navigate.

The Tribal Broadband Bootcamp’s annual 3-day workshops provide an invaluable opportunity for learning and sharing of the knowledge and experience of Tribal networking experts and have had a significant effect on Tribal broadband access and adoption. Attendees at all levels of experience interact with network operators, industry professionals, and broadband experts who walk through what it takes to build a network and run an Internet Service Provider.

The Tribal Broadband Bootcamp was established by Matthew Rantanen, Director of Technology at the Southern California Tribal Chairman’s Association, and Christopher Mitchell, Director of Community Broadband Networks at the Institute for Self-Reliance. The first Tribal Broadband Bootcamp – called the “Tribal Wireless Bootcamp” from its focus on the 2.5 GHz spectrum – took place at Rantanen’s ranch in July, 2021 – the second summer of the pandemic.

“The Tribal Broadband Bootcamp's dedication to bridging the digital divide and supporting Tribal self-reliance in broadband access is not just impactful, it is inspirational,” said Louis Fox, CENIC’s Chief Executive Officer. “Each year, the Bootcamps have further enhanced their impact by hosting additional workshops and incorporating additional technologies into the curriculum. These initiatives have notably impacted a significant number of individuals across numerous North American Tribes and First Nations, effectively turning existing infrastructures into powerful hubs for knowledge sharing and community empowerment.”

The annual Tribal Broadband Bootcamp is made possible through the support of sponsors as well as Waskawiwin, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that hosts and manages the Tribal Broadband Bootcamps as well as finding other ways to assist the creation of more Internet capacity on Tribal lands.

About CENIC |

CENIC connects California to the world—advancing education and research statewide by providing the world-class network essential for innovation, collaboration, and economic growth. This nonprofit organization operates the California Research and Education Network (CalREN), a high-capacity network designed to meet the unique requirements of over 20 million users, including the vast majority of K-20 students together with educators, researchers and others at vital public-serving institutions. CENIC’s Charter Associates are part of the world’s largest education system; they include the California K-12 system, California Community Colleges, the California State University system, California’s Public Libraries, the University of California system, Stanford, Caltech, USC, and the Naval Postgraduate School. CENIC also provides connectivity to leading-edge institutions and industry research organizations around the world, serving the public as a catalyst for a vibrant California.


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