NEBSA Spotlight - Four Tribal Broadband Experiences Examined in Case Studies

A report from the Institute for Local Self-Reliance examines the EBS experiences of four Native Nations: the Coeur d'Alene, the Nez Perce, the Fond du Lac Band of Ojibwe, and the St. Regis Mohawk.  Each tribe constructed their own Internet service providers.  The case studies examine the unique challenges tribes face to build Internet infrastructure and address the digital divide while retaining tribal sovereignty.

Some of the key findings of the study include:

• “An Indigenous Broadband Fund and centralized data base that captures funding opportunities, eligibility, and information on how to apply should be created.”

• “Indigenous representatives should be hired on a salaried basis to serve as liaisons to assist communities with their applications for funding and participation in policy processes.”

• “Federal grants should be created and tailored to Indigenous communities for basic planning, digital inclusion, and network operation and maintenance.”

• “If federal funds are allocated to private, non-Indigenous entities operating on Indigenous lands, that entity should be required to train community members to maintain the network on their own land or at minimum hire community members for local labor. They should also be required to service a higher penetration rate to ensure homes are serviced as well as businesses.

To read the full report - Institute for Local Self-Reliance