Published On: Thu, Jun 9th, 2016

LETTER: Where is the return from fiber optic investment?


Several years back, as most tribal members remember, our Tribe, along with the approval of the Investment Committee, decided it would be a good thing to invest millions in a fiber optic network. We did! As a little memory refresher, I’ll add, this investment was to be a sure “money maker” for the Tribe.

Well, several years later, as the debate of diversification issues still wages as to what would be best for our people shouldn’t we also be keeping tabs on past investments especially when that investment cost millions?

The reason behind the “call to attention” of this investment was brought about by two separate articles in the June 1-7 issue of a regional newspaper. Whereas, these articles tell of several of the surrounding communities search for answers to their need for high speed broadband.

Wasn’t the reasoning behind our investment of millions being that in doing so, we would be looking at a pretty nice return on our monies?

Then, why are all these surrounding communities mentioned in the aforementioned articles searching for solutions to their high speed broadband problems? Smart investments make money, right? Then, shouldn’t our investment be providing solutions to these problems?

Perhaps “report cards” just like in the private sector would be a good idea to keep tribal members informed. After all, it is our money.


Harold R. Rattler

Bryson City