The Karuk Tribe proposes to use AMPRNet funding to purchase new access points and radios for all of Áan Chúuphan. They will replace 8 aging customer access points and antennas, and 6 radios used as point-to-point links between access points. They will also replace the subscriber module radios installed at the customer premises for all 127 active subscribers, and purchase enough subscriber module radios to hook up the estimated 45 customers waiting for service. As needed these new sites or the existing communications tower could be used for amateur public service radios and wildfire camera, alleviating the increasing difficulty of amateur radio access to space on tower sites.
Because substantial amounts of government funding are just now being made available to support rural broadband deployment, it is not ARDC’s intention to generally support every such development for its own sake absent a direct connection to ARDC’s core purpose: promoting the technical development of (and education about) Amateur Radio digital communications and related Internet technologies. To this end, this grant requires the recipient to produce a technical case study documenting their deployment and operational experience. Terrestrial wireless is one of the most economical ways to provide Internet connectivity to remote areas, so the Karuk Tribe’s descriptions of practical lessons learned — choices made, problems encountered, solved and avoided — will be valuable to anyone else considering a similar deployment, including other Native American tribes and radio amateurs building public service and emergency relief networks.