Tribal Broadband as a Cyber Superhighway to Sovereignty
March 30, 2021
The digital divide is great in the United States, often separating the rural from the urban, the rich from the poor. Indian Country is no different, with just 60 percent of residents living on tribal lands in the lower 48 states having access to broadband internet at the end of 2018. That was tough enough pre-pandemic. Today, not having in-home access to the internet can mean long drives to places like McDonald's for internet service, just so children can do homework assignments.
The Institute for Local Self-Reliance (ILSR) decided to examine the issue of tribal internet access, and made their findings accessible in their new case studies report "Building Indigenous Future Zones." The report points to some solutions Native nations might want to look for, including accessing unrestricted capital and viewing the creation of their own internet service provider as a job creator.