National Tribal Broadband Summit
Today, more than ever before, access to reliable and affordable broadband service is critical to the health, wellbeing, and economic development of Tribal nations. The Biden Administration is making historic investments to broadband in rural and Tribal communities, and is committed to bringing affordable, reliable high-speed broadband to all Americans. The National Tribal Broadband Summit is a unique opportunity for Tribal Leaders, representatives of Tribal organizations, representatives of schools and school districts serving under-connected Native students, tribal libraries, museums, and cultural programs, federal program managers, and policy-makers at multiple levels of government to come together and share their innovations in expanding broadband access and adoption for tribal communities.
This September, the Department of the Interior (DOI), in collaboration with the Department of Commerce, Department of Agriculture, Department of Transportation, the Federal Communications Commission, the Institute of Museum and Library Services and the White House Council for Native American Affairs, will convene tribal broadband industry experts to discuss how to make the most use of the Tribal Broadband Connectivity Grant funds, American Rescue Plan Act funds, and other Federal funding opportunities for broadband, and how to plan for the future of Tribal broadband networks and digital economies. This summit will provide a platform for leaders across the broadband deployment ecosystem to share best practices, new ideas, and lessons learned from their real-world experience bringing broadband service to Native American communities. This year’s event will focus on:
- Implementing the Tribal Broadband Connectivity Grant. Planning and implementing network construction and expansions, obtaining rights of way, NEPA assessments, and multi-jurisdictional projects. Implementing telehealth, distance learning, adoption, and workforce development projects, including equipment distribution and maintenance, curriculum development, and training methodologies.
- Planning for Long Term Success. Identifying needs, setting goals, creating strategies, developing a plan and leveraging data to maximize the short and long-term educational, cultural and economic benefits of connectivity. Developing a local tribal workforce to maintain and operate networks, capacity building for Tribes and Tribal organizations, and achieving financial stability.
- Technical Solutions, Middle Mile, Connectivity Solutions. Exploring the various connectivity options available and identifying possible solutions to bring broadband to Tribal lands. E.g., spectrum white spaces, new spectrum and how best to use it, and middle mile networks.
- Broadband Use and Adoption. Leveraging technology to improve health care outcomes via telehealth services, enhancing economic development, increasing community engagement, and expanding educational opportunity.