Navajo Nation
The Navajo Nation celebrates the installation of new equipment to improve broadband service at a tower site in Chinle, Arizona, on November 12, 2020. Photo: Navajo Nation Office of President and Vice President
Senate Committee on Indian Affairs hosts roundtable on digital divide in Native communities
Tuesday, January 11, 2022

With billions of dollars in infrastructure funding in the works, the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs is looking at the lack of broadband technology in Native communities.

The committee is hosting a roundtable titled “Closing the Digital Divide in Native Communities through Infrastructure Investment” on Wednesday afternoon. The event will bring together leaders, executives and experts to discuss ways to improve broadband for American Indians, Alaska Natives and Native Hawaiians.

The roundtable comes after the enactment of H.R.3684, also known as the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. The new law provides $2 billion for tribal broadband initiatives.

The discussion takes place at 2:30pm Eastern. It will be broadcast on

The panelists for the roundtable follow:

The Honorable Manuel Heart
Chairman, Ute Mountain Ute Tribe
Towaoc, Colorado

The Honorable William Smith
Alaska Area Representative & Board Member
National Indian Health Board
Valdez, Alaska

Walter W. Haase, P.E.
General Manager
Navajo Tribal Utility Authority
Fort Defiance, Arizona

Carrie L. Billy
President & Chief Executive Officer
American Indian Higher Education Consortium
Alexandria, Virginia

Matthew Rantanen
Co-Chair, Subcommittee Technology & Telecommunications
National Congress of American Indians
Washington, DC

Donovan Kealoha
Co-Founder & Chief Executive Officer
Purple Mai‘a Foundation
‘Aiea, Hawaii

Hallie Bisset
Executive Director
Alaska Native Village Corporation Association
Anchorage, Alaska

Senate Committee on Indian Affairs Notice
Roundtable discussion on “Closing the Digital Divide in Native Communities through Infrastructure Investment” (January 12, 2021)

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