Nathan Lefthand: Indian Country needs more access to Internet

"We, as American Indians, have a great need. It has been here for quite some time and on many levels: economic, educational, health, entertainment and a general better way of life. This great need requires one thing, and that is free broadband access on American Indian lands. According to the Federal Communications Commission, more than 90 percent of American Indians lack high-speed internet access. The internet is and continues to be the economy of the future—one that supports new and better jobs, and will enhance American Indians global competitiveness. We must expand the availability and adoption of broadband access in American Indian lands.

n the near-term, investments in broadband infrastructure helps create jobs and business growth by supporting the installation and upgrade of fiber-optic networks, wireless towers and other high-tech components. Public computer centers provide much-needed training and broadband for those without access to this empowering technology in their homes. Sustainable broadband adoption efforts help to educate American Indian populations about the benefits of broadband and enable them to become proficient in computer-related skills. In the longer-term, expanding broadband access and adoption facilitates economic growth and innovation, especially for small businesses; enhances health care delivery; improves public safety; and lays a foundation for long-term economic development in American Indian communities throughout the United States."

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Nathan Lefthand: The Need for Broadband Internet Is Great (Indian Country Today 12/4)

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