© 2024 KOSU
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
KOSU is committed to being more reflective of the audiences we serve. In Oklahoma, having stories reported by Indigenous reporters for Native communities is imperative.

Cherokee Nation to build cell towers to service parts of rural Oklahoma

Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr. delivered his fifth State of the Nation address last fall.
Cherokee Nation
Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr. speaks with a voter ahead of the Cherokee Nation's election last year.

The Cherokee Nation plans to build 15 new cell towers to provide service to 16 of its rural communities in eastern Oklahoma.

The tribe is creating a network for areas where cell service and broadband are lacking or nonexistent.

The tribe plans to invest $80 million into the project over the next three years. The money came from American Rescue Plan Act funds, said Julie Hubbard, a tribe spokesperson.

Cell service and broadband are crucial for Cherokee families seeking employment, educational opportunities, health care and a better quality of life, said Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr.

“These 15 new towers and the growth of the first Cherokee Nation-owned broadband network are major milestones in our efforts to connect these 16 rural Cherokee communities with permanent solutions,” Hoskin said.

The towers will be located in Adair, Delaware, Cherokee and Sequoyah counties.

"The impact of cell service and broadband internet access on Cherokee communities cannot be understated," said Deputy Chief Bryan Warner. "Too many Cherokee citizens have been isolated from so many opportunities simply due to a lack of cell service or broadband internet."

The estimated completion date is 2026, Hubbard said.

The Cherokee Nation is seeking qualified companies to design and build the 15 cell towers.

Oklahoma Voice is part of States Newsroom, a nonprofit news network supported by grants and a coalition of donors as a 501c(3) public charity. Oklahoma Voice maintains editorial independence.

Barbara Hoberock is a senior reporter with Oklahoma Voice. She began her career in journalism in 1989 after graduating from Oklahoma State University. She began with the Claremore Daily Progress and then started working in 1990 for the Tulsa World. She has covered the statehouse since 1994 and served as Tulsa World Capitol Bureau chief. She covers statewide elected officials, the legislature, agencies, state issues, appellate courts and elections.
KOSU is nonprofit and independent. We rely on readers like you to support the local, national, and international coverage on this website. Your support makes this news available to everyone.

Give today. A monthly donation of $5 makes a real difference.
Related Content