LIVINGSTON, Texas (KETK) – The Alabama-Coushatta Tribe of Texas was awarded $500,000 from a federal program meant to improve access to high speed internet.

Based in the Polk County area, the Alabama-Coushatta Tribe of Texas has the oldest reservation in the state and more than 1,300 members.

The goal of the grant is to reduce monthly internet service costs, plan for future investments in internet infrastructure, upgrade network equipment and buy devices.

The Alabama-Coushatta tribe’s project is described as aiming “to replace end of life and/or damaged fiber strands within an existing broadband network fiber ring that will support educational, healthcare and economic activities while closing the digital divide that exists on Tribal lands.”

The funds were awarded through the $3 billion grant program known as the Tribal Broadband Connectivity Program, run by the Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration as part of the Biden administration’s Internet for All initiative.

“Tribal communities deserve access to affordable, reliable, high-speed Internet service,” said Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Communications and Information Alan Davidson. “These grants will help lower barriers to Internet access today and plan for the future high-speed Internet infrastructure projects of tomorrow.”

This round of grants were given to nine tribes and totaled $4.5 million.