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As the US gets set to spend billions on broadband infrastructure, tribes are among the regions that need it most. But many tribes also lack the resources and support required to successfully participate in the $42.5 billion Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) program.
Enter Tribal Ready: a new company that aims to serve as a virtual broadband office for tribes, providing resources for and assistance with broadband planning, mapping, grant writing and more.
Tribal Ready, a Native-owned, controlled and governed public benefit company, was launched in January 2023 by a team of individuals who have each worked on tribal broadband matters in some capacity. The company also has support from Ready, which offers cloud-based software and tools to broadband stakeholders vying for grants. According to Tribal Ready president and CEO Joe Valandra, Ready is the second-largest shareholder in the company.
Ready is “providing much of the startup capital and helping us sort of get off to the running start that we need, but we’re separate companies,” said Valandra, who is a member of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe in South Dakota. Native individuals also hold four of Tribal Ready’s seven board seats, he
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