When I started working as a digital inclusion advocate in 2017, one of the first projects I worked on was Libraries Leading with TV Whitespace. The program was designed to enable libraries to broadcast a TVWS signal from the central point of the library to the surrounding community using the TVWS technology. I developed a plan to use TVWS hardware to broadcast high-speed broadband signal from the town of Kodiak to the Ouzinkie Tribal Media Center on Spruce Island and then from the media center to the community. Unfortunately, the project was not funded and the project hasn’t been pursued until now.
During my visit to Ouzinkie this week, I told the new Tribal Administrator about the project I had worked on earlier in the year. She was very interested in how high-speed Internet could further increase the utility of the media center and if there was a possibility that the tribe could pick up where the Alutiiq Museum had left off. I explained that although I was trying to use TVWS to connect the media center, other radio technologies might be better suited to their needs but, the concept is easily achieved with the right equipment.
The Tribe is very excited to pick up the project and run with it! It is really exciting to see the community working hard and choosing to take action and bring broadband and digital inclusion to the village. This is exactly the type of attitude that people in Kodiak are known for, relentlessness. By taking on the task of bringing in their own broadband signal onto the island they will even further advance the exceptional service that the library already provides to the community!