Photo caption: A mobile building housing a Grayhorse Community Internet Room will be placed adjacent to the existing Grayhorse community building in the fall. CODY HAMMER/Osage News
The Grayhorse broadband and Community Center internet room is due to be completed this fall.
Jimmy Buckner, Osage LLC Operations Manager, said the Center will be completed and delivered by early September, but the broadband tower will not be fully installed and operational at the community center until mid-November. Rising building costs and scarcity of materials have proved challenging but Buckner says the project is still on track.
The community internet room will be a mobile building located adjacent to the Grayhorse community building. The broadband tower and community internet room are funded through a USDA Community Connects Grant.
To meet the terms of the grant, the internet room must be a separate facility, rather than a room within the existing Grayhorse community building. Once complete, high-speed internet, six computer workstations, and a shared network printer will be available for community use. Operational logistics, like hours and fees for use, are yet to be determined.
“It is our goal to provide the people of Grayhorse this service in the best, most cost-efficient way possible,” Buckner said.
The procurement process for purchasing land for laying the approximate 33-mile fiber optic cable for the project is ongoing. The Osage LLC received an extension from the Rural Utilities Service for the purchase of the land for the project.
The broadband project is a $3 million project funded through a Community Connects Grant issued through the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development program, with $450,000 in matching funds from the Osage Nation. According to the website, these grants are intended to help rural residents tap into the enormous potential of the Internet for jobs, education, healthcare, public safety, and community development.