December 6, 2016
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Time To Improve Indian Internet Access, Report Says

 

Native Public Media and New America Foundation Report Propels Native Voice to Forefront of National Broadband Stage

 

Native Public Media and New America Foundation Report Propels Native Voice to Forefront of National Broadband Stage

Washington, D.C. - In Native America, broadband penetration on Indian lands is estimated at less than ten percent. Native Americans live in communities where broadband often is unavailable or unaffordable. Compounding this situation is a lack of data on Native broadband adoption, availability and connectivity.   

In an unprecedented joint effort, Native Public Media and the New America Foundation's Open Technology Initiative released the New Media, Technology and Internet Use in Indian Country: Quantitative and Qualitative Analyses the first step in bringing national awareness to the deplorable state of broadband in Native American communities.  

A foundational report, New Media, Technology and Internet Use in Indian Country: Quantitative and Qualitative Analyses contains the first valid and credible data on Internet use among Native Americans. 

For Loris Taylor, executive director of Native Public Media, the Report provides an opportunity to spotlight what some tribes are doing to close the digital divide for their citizens. 

"I've visited Native communities where Internet black holes exist because broadband deployment either ignored them or simply went around them. For the first time in history, we have solid broadband data that underscores the fact that Native Americans are using the Internet when they have access to it and building their own tribal centric broadband highways when no one else will.  This report is timely and catapults the needs of Native Americans into the national policy making process as the FCC develops a data focused and comprehensive National Broadband Plan."

The New Media, Technology and Internet Use in Indian Country: Quantitative and Qualitative Analyses, a two-part report, includes a survey of Native American technology use normed against other national surveys, and case studies of six successful projects exhibiting Digital Excellence in Native America.  
 
"Our exploratory analyses defy the often-held stereotypes of limited new media and broadband use amongst Native Americans.  We found a dramatic uptake of these technologies amongst tribal members," explained Sascha Meinrath, Director of the New America Foundation's Open Technology Initiative.  "Overall, survey participants were extremely tech savvy, utilizing digital multimedia and communications at rates that are much higher than national norms," concludes Traci Morris, Policy and Program Analyst for Native Public Media.

Using the data uncovered by the research, New Media, Technology and Internet Use in Indian Country: Quantitative and Qualitative Analyses presents a best practices model for deploying similar projects throughout Native America and provides recommendations for the necessary interventions and policies for bridging the Native American digital divide.

To read New Media, Technology and Internet Use in Indian Country: Quantitative and Qualitative Analyses or download a PDF click here.

Native Public Media is a resource and advocacy organization that promotes healthy, engaged independent Native communities by strengthening and expanding Native access, ownership and control of media. NPM works with 34 Native-owned public radio stations in 13 states, a media network that will expand to include more than 30 additional public stations over the next three years.

About the New America Foundation

The New America Foundation is a nonprofit, nonpartisan public policy institute that invests in new thinkers and new ideas to address the next generation of challenges facing the United States.

Please contact Kate Brown with inquiries at 202-596-3365 orbrown@newamerica.net .



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