Akwesasne network company awarded $6.4 million for broadband funding; will service more than 3,000 homes
Friday, March 10, 2017 - 5:37 pm

AKWESASNE -- The Saint Regis Mohawk Tribally owned enterprise, Mohawk Networks, LLC has been awarded $6.4 million in state broadband funding through Round II of the New NY Broadband Program.

Round II funding totals $268 million in public-private investments to ensure that unserved and underserved New York households have access to highspeed broadband services, critical services that are required to compete in a modern economy.

Through Mohawk Networks’ subsidiary, North Country Broadband, the tribe will immediately advance the expansion of their wireless technology in the Lewis County census block. The first stage of the grant will allow for the activation of five towers in Lewis County.

“By the end of 2018, we will have brought services to 3,623 homes,” Jeff Beekhoo, CEO of Mohawk Networks said in a prepared statement from the tribe. “We’re thankful for the legislative support we’ve received at the state level from Senator Patty Ritchie, Senator Betty Little, Senator Joe Griffo, and Assemblywoman Addie Jenne for the Mohawk Networks’ New NY Broadband Program grant application, along with the incredible support from Lewis County legislators. Lewis County’s backing of a pilot program reinforced the fact that our wireless technology rivals that of traditional fiber.”

The average cost per household for the deployment of our wireless technology is $1,700; far less than the traditional method of laying miles of fiber.

Discussions are currently underway with Clinton County legislators regarding the expansion of Mohawk Network’s broadband infrastructure to Clinton County by the end of 2018.

“The tribe recognizes the importance of high speed broadband accessibility and what it has done for our own community. It's unfortunate that in this day and age, our neighbors in the North Country remain underserved or not served at all. For this reason, we feel that it is our responsibility to ensure our neighboring communities are afforded the same opportunities to grow and thrive,” Chief Ron LaFrance said in a prepared statement. “Receiving this grant will allow Mohawk Networks to fast track the delivery of high speed Internet service to thousands of homes.”

“Our technology will help ensure that families in surrounding communities have the opportunity to access high-speed Internet at an affordable, cost-effective rate,” Chief Beverly Cook said in the release. “On behalf of Tribal Council, we also extend our appreciation for the leadership of Senator Charles Schumer, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, and Congresswoman Elise Stefanik for prioritizing broadband expansion in the North Country and throughout the state of New York.”

“We commend Governor Cuomo’s time-sensitive, action-oriented broadband strategy to ensure 98 percent of homes in NY have access by the end of 2018,” Chief Eric Thompson said in the statement.