The Grayhorse community internet room is located next to the Chapel in the Grayhorse Indian Village. Courtesy Photo/George Pease
The Grayhorse Broadband project saw progress on Aug. 25 with the delivery of a modular building that will serve as a community internet room once the project is complete. Fiber optic cable installation was still ongoing at the time of delivery.
Once operational, the community internet room will be manned by someone on a regular basis. The building will have high-speed internet, six computer workstations, and a shared network printer available for community use. Operational logistics, like hours and fees for use, are yet to be determined.
“The intent is to hire a full-time person to manage the broadband interests of the Nation,” said Osage LLC board member Richard Perrier.
Workers continue to install fiber optic cable along the highway and were working within the Grayhorse Village area along Kinney Drive on Aug. 25. Now that the community internet room is placed in the village, a broadband tower is to be constructed and could be operational as early as mid-November.
Bowring is due to receive a similar modular internet room, though the final location has not been selected. Perrier said they were in the process of purchasing land to set up the facility.
Perrier said the Grayhorse internet room will not be operational until after the grant is complete. The grant, funded through a Community Connects Grant issued through the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development program has a deadline of November.
A $3 million dollar project with $450,000 in matching funds from the Osage Nation, these grants are intended to help rural residents tap into the enormous potential of the Internet for jobs, education, healthcare, public safety, and community development, according to the USDA website.