The Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians says it will install fixed broadband internet service in two communities after winning federal licenses.
The 11,000-member tribe announced that it won licenses to install the services in the Bogue Chitto and Conehatta communities. Bogue Chitto is a part of the Choctaw reservation northeast of Philadelphia, while Conehatta is a part of the reservation northwest of Newton.
The tribe says it applied for telecommunications spectrum licenses in all eight of its communities, but could only win the two because all the spectrum was already licensed in the six other areas, including the largest community of Choctaw, just west of Philadelphia.
Choctaw Economic Development Director John Hendrix said connectivity is a “primary consideration” for the tribe. He said better broadband service will help keep people connected to schooling and health care during emergencies such as the COVID-19 pandemic, and also make the areas more attractive to businesses.
The tribe said it’s looking for ways to expand internet connections in its six other communities through business partnerships and other wireless technologies.