Interior Department to Convene Summit to Improve Tribal Broadband Access

August 29, 2019 by Dan McCue

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Interior Department, in collaboration with the U.S. Education Department and the Institute of Museum and Library Services, will host the first-ever National Tribal Broadband Summit, Sept. 23 and 24 in Washington, D.C.

According to the Federal Communications Commission, only 46.6% of tribal lands currently have broadcast access, compared to 73.3 percent of other rural parts of the country.

The summit is intended to equip participants with the tools needed to bridge the connectivity gap on tribal lands and unlock the opportunities that broadband access can provide.

“There are communities across the United States that are still waiting to catch up with 21st century technology,” said Tara Katuk MacLean Sweeney, assistant secretary for Indian Affairs, at the Interior Department.

“The Department is committed to improving economic opportunity and quality of life for American Indians and Alaska Natives. This Summit is a key opportunity to engage the private sector and make the business case for investing in Indian Country,” Sweeney said.

One of the  primary goals of the event is to lay a foundation for building capacity among tribal communities to support broadband deployment and adoption, and identify new opportunities for private sector investment in broadband.

Jim Blew, assistant secretary for planning, evaluation, and policy development, at the Department of Education, said broadband “is especially important in rural and Tribal communities where the growing digital divide could exacerbate persistent achievement gaps.” 

“All students need affordable broadband, at school and at home … the Department remains committed to working with our federal, state, tribal, and local colleagues to ensure that all students, including American Indian and Alaska Native students, have access to the tools that will enable them to find their pathway to success,” Blew said.

Registration is open to Tribal leaders, representatives of tribal organizations, representatives of schools and school districts serving under-connected native students, Tribal libraries, museums, and cultural centers, private sector, and federal program managers and policymakers. 

Rural

Schrier Helps Tribes Secure First-Ever Licenses to Expand Internet Access
Congress
Schrier Helps Tribes Secure First-Ever Licenses to Expand Internet Access
November 11, 2020
by Sean Trambley

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Rep. Kim Schrier, D-Wash., recently helped the Nisqually and the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation in her district fulfill a long time dream. They are two of eight tribes in the state to receive first-of-their-kind licenses for 2.5 GHz wireless broadband services. ... Read More

COVID-19 Patients Swamp Rural Hospitals
Rural
COVID-19 Patients Swamp Rural Hospitals

The nation's pandemic hot spots have shifted to rural communities, overwhelming small hospitals that are running out of beds or lack the intensive care units for more than one or two seriously ill patients. And in much of the Midwest and Great Plains, hospital workers are... Read More

Rural Vacation Towns Made it Through the Summer. Now What?
Rural
Rural Vacation Towns Made it Through the Summer. Now What?

DENVER — The pandemic hit Colorado’s ski towns first. As spring breakers headed to the slopes, they brought the coronavirus with them. Democratic Gov. Jared Polis shut down the state’s ski resorts in March, triggering a wave of furloughs and layoffs in mountain towns. Some resorts... Read More

Blue Dogs Host Roundtable Discussion on Rural Education and Workforce Development
Congress
Blue Dogs Host Roundtable Discussion on Rural Education and Workforce Development
October 9, 2020
by Sara Wilkerson

WASHINGTON - This week the Blue Dog Coalition hosted a roundtable discussion with experts in the K-12, higher and tribal education fields on rural education and workforce development. Blue Dog member Rep. Kendra Horn, D-Okla., moderated the roundtable discussion on behalf of the Coalition.  Horn recently... Read More

Strained Rural Water Utilities Buckle Under Pandemic Pressure
In The News
Strained Rural Water Utilities Buckle Under Pandemic Pressure

WASHINGTON — The months leading up to the coronavirus pandemic already spelled trouble for the Rome Water System and the tiny community it serves in the Mississippi Delta. A tornado tossed around several homes, closed roads and left the community without power for two weeks. Lightning... Read More

Brindisi Leads Forum on Mental Health and Addiction Issues
Mental Health
Brindisi Leads Forum on Mental Health and Addiction Issues
September 16, 2020
by Daniel Londono

WASHINGTON - Rep. Anthony Brindisi, D-N.Y., served as moderator last week at a Blue Dog Coalition forum exploring the issue of mental health and addiction in the U.S. and how to deal with it. Brindisi, the coalition's co-chair, has been an advocate for better access to... Read More

News From The Well
scroll top