The Pamunkey Tribe will soon see all tribal members living on the reservation receive universal internet access after the tribe announced this week it would partner with All Points Broadband and Dominion Energy to create a fiber-to-home network.
Through the partnership, the Pamunkey Tribe will develop a network plan, which will include a grid of homes to connect, to submit to the State Corporation Commission for approval. If approved, the tribe, through its partnership, will secure funding to begin construction, according to a Dominion Energy press release.
If approved, the Pamunkey Reservation will become the second reservation to receive access to broadband through this program — following the Mattaponi Reservation.
“Ensuring high-quality broadband access for our reservation has been a long-term priority for the Pamunkey Tribe,” Chief Robert Gray said in the release. “Joining with Dominion Energy Virginia and All Points to expand their ongoing efforts in King William is a unique opportunity to achieve this critical step for the future of the Tribe.”
The Pamunkey Reservation sits on 1,600 acres along the Pamunkey River in King William County. There are approximately 60 citizens that live on the reservation and an additional 350 that live throughout the county. If approved, those residents will have access to broadband internet.
The Northern Virginia-based subcontracting company All Points Broadband serves as a bridge between localities and state and federal funding to better situate localities for access.
Their outreach stretches across state lines including projects in West Virginia, Kentucky and Maryland. As of October 2020, the company has secured more than $51 million in state and federal grants to expand broadband.
Its latest project includes providing internet access to residents in King William County.
“In the past seven months, All Points has developed network plans and secured federal funding to extend fiber-to-the-home broadband to the 900 unserved homes and businesses in the first phase of our strategic plan for King William,” All Points CEO Jimmy Carr stated in the release. “We look forward to working with the Pamunkey Tribe to achieve their vision for universal access on the reservation.”
While the three key players have established a partnership, they will have to see their site plans approved by the State Corporation Commission before they can begin construction — a process that could take months. It is unclear when the project will begin.