WASHINGTON, D.C. – Verizon announced it will deliver enhanced connectivity to approximately 80 Bureau of Indian Education (BIE) schools operated by Native American tribes on 64 reservations in 13 states. Verizon’s network investment across diverse tribal lands is expected to lead to reliable, high-speed internet service and connected devices for thousands of students. The work will support BIE’s mission to provide quality education opportunities from early childhood through life in accordance with a tribe’s needs for cultural and economic well-being.
Verizon had previously upgraded more than 100 sites from legacy T1.5s to 100MB sites, work awarded via the U.S. General Services Administration’s (GSA) Networx contract. Many of those schools will now gain access to 1Gb internet connections through an extension of Verizon’s existing Enterprise Infrastructure Solutions (EIS) task order. Native American students across the program’s 13 states will benefit from more robust technology in the classroom, and significantly increased speed and bandwidth. Addressing this challenge has been a long-term commitment by Verizon as part of its responsible business plan – Citizen Verizon – whose mission includes expanding digital access and resources to promote digital equity and inclusion. Verizon coordinated with multiple third-party access suppliers to design and engineer special access arrangements on a site-by-site basis.
“A quality, high-bandwidth connection is critical for students to be able to learn from wherever they are – especially in more remote areas,” said Maggie Hallbach, senior vice president for Verizon Public Sector. “We believe this is a fundamental right for all students, and by upgrading the technology and infrastructure across these tribal lands, including many with Gigabit connections, we’re helping BIE with its mission to enable a more comprehensive learning experience, preparing these students for the future.”
Students should experience the benefit of added bandwidth as early as this fall. The overall infrastructure work across the 13 states will take place through 2023.
Additional information on Verizon’s commitment to narrowing the digital divide can be found by visiting the company’s Tribal Communities Support and Solutions page here.