Rural communities are generally under-served by high-speed internet. Often, the costs of providing the service across open spaces cannot be recovered through a small number of subscriptions. Native communities are 26% less served by broadband internet compared to those living in rural areas outside of reservations.
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is working to change that. Earlier this year, the FCC offered tribes across the country the chance to apply for a free slice of the broadband spectrum in order to provide high speed, wireless internet to their communities. More than 400 nations have applied, including four in Idaho. Joining Idaho Matters to talk about this is Ajit Pai, chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, and Valerie Fast Horse with the Coeur d’Alene Tribe.
Later in the hour, we talk with Ernesto Falcon, Senior Legislative Counsel with the Electronic Frontier Foundation about what his organization thinks the FCC should do to make significant and sustainable improvements for rural and Indigenous internet connection.
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