Date: Monday, August 1, 2022
WASHINGTON – A coalition of federal agencies today announced the following steps as part of the Biden-Harris administration’s comprehensive approach to closing the digital divide and expanding Internet access throughout Indian Country and the Native Hawaiian community. The Department of the Interior and the Institute of Museum and Library Services are partnering with the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Information Communications and Commerce (NTIA) for the 2022 National Tribal Broadband Conference, which takes place almost throughout the month of September.
The National Tribal Broadband Summit provides a forum for leaders across the broadband development agenda to share best practices, new ideas and lessons learned from their real-world experiences in bringing high-speed Internet to tribal governments and businesses, organizations, Tribal and Native Hawaiian organizations, and homes. Federal partners, Tribal and Hawaiian broadband industry experts, and other stakeholders will discuss how to best use President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and Federal Broadband Connectivity Grant for Tribes funds, and how to plan for the future of wireless networks and digital. economies on Tribal Lands and in all Native Hawaiian communities. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law provides a historic investment of $65 billion to expand affordable, high-speed Internet to all communities across the US.
Registration is now open for tribal leaders; representatives of ethnic organizations; Tribal colleges and universities, as well as schools and school districts serving underserved Indigenous students; National libraries, museums, and cultural centers; the Native Hawaiian community, including Native Hawaiian education programs; organizations of private sector stakeholders; representatives from regional governments who support the expansion of high-speed Internet in Tribal countries; and government program managers and policy makers.
The states are some of the most digitally disconnected areas in the United States, with 1.5 million people without high-speed Internet services. According to a 2018 report by the Federal Communications Commission, approximately 35 percent of those living on Tribal lands do not have broadband access. Likewise, 34 percent of Native Hawaiians reported inadequate access to digital services and Internet connectivity. As COVID-19 forces students to shift their learning online and more people to telework, the need for home broadband access in all Indigenous communities has become apparent and critical.
Service providers, developers, researchers, funders, regulators, participating institutions, telehealth and distance learning experts, national governments, organizations and institutions, and other key stakeholders from across the country are invited to submit projects, programs or their best efforts to plan, build. , delivering and operating broadband networks throughout Indian Country and the Native Hawaiian Community will be presented at this year’s conference. Submissions are strongly encouraged to include content from federally recognized tribes, Tribal partners, or the Native Hawaiian Community.