facebook linkedin twitter

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

November 3, 2021
by Alexa Hornbeck
WHO Builds Pipeline for Health Care Workers in Rural Areas

WASHINGTON — The World Health Organization recently hosted the third in a series of webinars on rural health equity and... Read More

WASHINGTON — The World Health Organization recently hosted the third in a series of webinars on rural health equity and policies aimed at developing, attracting, and retaining health workers in rural and remote areas.  “Four out of five of the world’s extreme poor live in rural... Read More

October 21, 2021
by Reece Nations
FCC Announces $554 Million Broadband Opportunity Fund Program

WASHINGTON — The Federal Communications Commission announced on Wednesday it is set to approve a total of $554,150,641 for the... Read More

WASHINGTON — The Federal Communications Commission announced on Wednesday it is set to approve a total of $554,150,641 for the third round of funding in deployments of the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund. The FCC previously announced over $1 billion in funding to winning bidders for new... Read More

September 7, 2021
by Alexa Hornbeck
How the Pandemic is Changing Telehealth Investments in Rural Areas

The Biden Administration is investing more than $19 million to expand telehealth access to rural and underserved communities, and Mend,... Read More

The Biden Administration is investing more than $19 million to expand telehealth access to rural and underserved communities, and Mend, a telemedicine and AI-powered patient engagement platform, is looking to prioritize access in rural areas where there is less internet connectivity. “In rural spaces, you still... Read More

July 14, 2021
by Tom Ramstack
Small Business Advocates Plead for Help Recovering from the Pandemic

WASHINGTON -- Members of Congress threw their support Tuesday behind President Joe Biden’s goal of helping small and rural businesses... Read More

WASHINGTON -- Members of Congress threw their support Tuesday behind President Joe Biden’s goal of helping small and rural businesses but with different perspectives on how to achieve it. Rep. Jared Golden, D-Maine, suggested that Congress provide a dedicated source of funding for the Small Business... Read More

June 28, 2021
by Victoria Turner
Top Rural Health Equity Initiative Launched

One of the nation’s leading integrated health systems serving rural America, Marshfield Clinic Health System, has banded together with multi-sided... Read More

One of the nation’s leading integrated health systems serving rural America, Marshfield Clinic Health System, has banded together with multi-sided community referral platform NowPow, launching one of the country’s largest rural health equity initiatives Monday.  Along with the common social determinants of health like employment, education,... Read More

June 17, 2021
by Victoria Turner
Broadband Deployment Needs Flexibility, Not More Federal Red Tape

A small community in Lincoln County, Maine, was recently denied a broadband deployment grant by the U.S. Department of Agriculture,... Read More

A small community in Lincoln County, Maine, was recently denied a broadband deployment grant by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, as satellite service provider ViaSat had already won the area in a Rural Digital Opportunity Fund auction by the Federal Communications Commission, recalled Peggy Schaffer, executive... Read More

News From The Well
scroll top