Federal Coalition Announces National Summit to Improve High-Speed Internet on Tribal Lands
When: Monday, August 1, 2022
Contact: [email protected]
WASHINGTON – A coalition of federal agencies today announced next steps as part of the Biden-Harris administration’s whole-of-government approach to closing the digital divide and increasing internet access across Indian Country and the Native Hawaiian community. The Department of the Interior and the Museum and Library Services Institute are partnering with the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) for the National Summit 2022 Broadband Tribal, which runs virtually throughout September.
The National Tribal Broadband Summit provides a platform for leaders in the broadband development ecosystem to share best practices, new ideas, and lessons learned from their real-world experience bringing broadband Internet access to tribal governments and to businesses, organizations, organizations, and homes. Federal partners, tribal and Native Hawaiian community broadband industry experts, and other attendees will discuss how to make the best use of President Biden’s bipartisan infrastructure act and the funds of the federal grant for broadband connectivity for tribes; and how to plan for the future of wireless networks and digital economies on tribal lands and in Native Hawaiian communities. Bipartisan Infrastructure Act Provides Historic $65 Billion Investment to Expand Affordable High-Speed Internet Access to Every Community in the United States
Registration is now open to tribal leaders; representatives of tribal organizations; Tribal colleges and universities, as well as schools and school districts serving under-connected Indigenous students; Libraries, museums and tribal cultural centers; the Native Hawaiian community, including Native Hawaiian education programs; private sector stakeholder organizations; state government officials supporting the expansion of high-speed internet on tribal lands; and federal program managers and policy makers.
Tribal lands are among the most digitally disconnected areas in the United States, where 1.5 million people lack high-speed internet service. According to a 2018 report by the Federal Communications Commission, approximately 35% of people living on tribal lands do not have access to broadband. Similarly, 34% of Native Hawaiians reported insufficient access to digital services and internet connectivity. As COVID-19 forced students to move their learning online and many people to work from home, the need for home broadband access in Indigenous communities has become increasingly evident and critical.
Service providers, engineers, researchers, funders, regulators, anchor institutions, telehealth and distance learning specialists, tribal governments, organizations and institutions and other key players from across the country are invited to submit their best projects, programs or initiatives in planning, building, delivering and using broadband networks across Indian Country and the Native Hawaiian community, which will be showcased at this year’s summit. Submissions are strongly encouraged to include content from federally recognized tribes, tribal partners, or the Native Hawaiian community.