A 21st Century Road:  Blazing Broadband Trails for Tribes with MuralNet

Description:  Access to broadband and wireless internet services has kept us together during the Covid pandemic.  From holiday zooms to online schooling; from telehealth calls to work from home office meetings, it’s the connection we needed during this crazy time.  Unfortunately, not everyone has had access to this type of connection.
In Tribal communities, only 65% of the total population has access to broadband.  And half of tribal rural households don’t have access to a fixed wireless internet provided, which is over twice the rate of non-tribal households.  (www.muralnet.org).  The lack of access to broadband or wireless internet solutions during this time has not only deepened the digital divide that we’ve seen for many years within tribal nations, it’s put a huge spotlight on it.

So, how do we change this?  What can we do to help?  How do tribes battle this divide that seems to be getting bigger, not smaller?  Well, the answer isn’t easy.  But it’s out there, as you’ll hear in this conversation with Mariel Tiggs & Crystal Hottowe.  Mariel & Crystal work with the non-profit group, MuralNet.  Together, they help tribal nations to build internet access on tribal lands by helping  tribes find grant opportunities, map out the FCC’s  Rural Tribal Priority Window that gives tribes the chance to apply for and receive spectrum licenses at no cost, and so much more. Help is out there, and we hope this conversation will give you information that can be useful in your journey down this 21st Century Road.

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