First Step Internet
First Step Internet proposes to build a regional network of 10 microwave towers to extend high-capacity Internet service in the rural counties of Latah, Idaho, Clearwater, Lewis, and Nez Perce in north-central Idaho. The project intends to directly connect 42 anchor institutions, including healthcare facilities, emergency response agencies, libraries, and government offices, as well as institutions serving the Nez Perce Tribe. The 550-mile network plans to offer speeds of 50 Mbps to 100 Mbps for anchor institutions and facilitate more affordable broadband Internet service for local consumers, including as many as 21,000 households and 700 businesses, by enabling local Internet service providers to connect to the project’s open network. In addition, the Nez Perce Tribe has already made plans to use the new network to provide enhanced last-mile services.