IMLS & Federal Coalition Host Summit for Improving Broadband Access on Tribal Lands
2022 National Tribal Broadband Summit Begins Sept. 13
Washington, DC—A coalition of federal agencies are working together to address the issue of how to close the digital divide and increase internet access across Indian Country. The Department of the Interior and the Institute of Museum and Library Services are partnering with the Department of Agriculture’s Rural Development Service and the Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunication and Information Administration (NTIA) for the 2022 National Tribal Broadband Summit, taking place virtually throughout the month of September.
The National Tribal Broadband Summit offers a platform for leaders across the broadband development ecosystem to share best practices, new ideas, and lessons learned from their real-world experience of bringing high-speed internet to Tribal businesses, governments, and homes.
"The Tribal Broadband Summit is the most important forum addressing the technology needs of the First Nations and Tribal lands as we continue to see a shift to digital requirements for full participation in today’s society," said Institute of Museum and Library Services Director Crosby Kemper. "These conversations demonstrate the invaluable importance of this effort to bring virtual education, health care and job support, and Tribal community information to everyone."
Registration is now open to Tribal leaders; representatives of Tribal organizations, Tribal colleges and universities, and schools and school districts serving under-connected Native students; Tribal libraries, museums, and cultural centers; private sector stakeholder organizations; and federal program managers and policymakers. Participants will leave with tools to help them bridge the connectivity gap in Indian Country and unlock doors to opportunities that broadband access can provide.
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) estimates that 18 million Americans still have no home access to high-speed, defined as a download speed of 25 megabits per second, internet service. Tribal lands are some of the most digitally disconnected areas in the United States, where 1.5 million people lack basic broadband and wireless services. And, according to a 2018 report by the Commission, approximately 35 percent of those living on Tribal lands lack broadband access.
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, constructing, delivering, and using Tribal broadband networks to be presented at this year’s summit.
About the Institute of Museum and Library Services
The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation's libraries and museums. We advance, support, and empower America's museums, libraries, and related organizations through grantmaking, research, and policy development. IMLS envisions a nation where individuals and communities have access to museums and libraries to learn from and be inspired by the trusted information, ideas, and stories they contain about our diverse natural and cultural heritage. To learn more, visit www.imls.gov and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.