Santa Ynez Chumash, EconAlliance Wins Federal Grand Prize for Strategic Broadband Plan

SANTA YNEZ, Calif. – The Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians and the Economic Alliance Foundation (EconAlliance) have received nearly $445,000 in federal funding to produce a broadband strategy and business plan in Santa Barbara North Fiber Ring.

“Partnering with EconAlliance on this project and receiving this federal grant brings us closer to improving Internet access throughout northern Santa Barbara County,” said Kenneth Kahn, Tribal Chairman of the Band of Chumash Indians of Santa Ynez.

“We look forward to producing a solid plan and working with cities across the region to make broadband connectivity a reality in our community.”

Most of the funding will be used to secure a telecommunications consultant to identify and evaluate two routes for a fiber ring to meet the “middle mile” broadband needs of the five cities and several unincorporated areas. of North County, said Santa Ynez Chumash spokesman Mike Traphagen.

Some of the grant evaluation work will include market analysis and a business plan analyzing route construction, operations and governance options to determine recommendations, Traphagen said.

The Santa Ynez Chumash and EconAlliance helped initiate broadband study and analysis efforts in North County, and both are part of the Santa Barbara County Broadband Strategy Project team that works closely with the Association of Santa Barbara County Governments and others to integrate countywide broadband planning efforts.

“This is great news for efforts to increase access to affordable high-performance Internet access in areas where it matters most,” said Marjie Kirn, executive director of SBCAG.

“Funding like this strengthens the partnerships we have in place to make our communities better and lives better. We commend the Santa Ynez Chumash Indian Band and EconAlliance for looking beyond the future of our region. Together, we remain committed to finalizing the countywide broadband vision by this fall. »

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