October 5, 2011

Senate Hearing on Internet Infrastructure in Native Communities

Washington D.C. –
U.S. Senator Daniel K. Akaka (D-Hawaii), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, will chair an oversight hearing tomorrow on Internet Infrastructure in Native Communities: Equal Access to E-Commerce, Jobs, and the Global Marketplace.
Reports, congressional hearings, and roundtables have highlighted disparities in access to telecommunications throughout Tribal communities and the factors that cause them. Despite challenges like geographic isolation and limited access to capital, some Native communities have been able to successfully implement telecommunication technologies to strengthen Native health, safety, economies, and culture. However, many other Native communities are still struggling to develop the infrastructure necessary to close the digital divide. Without access to technology, Native Nations cannot capitalize on the digital economy to better their communities.
Tomorrow’s hearing will examine current efforts to make telecommunications accessible to Native communities and identify existing barriers to bringing improved health care, education, and job opportunities to Native communities through telecommunications.
Live video will be available at: http://www.indian.senate.gov
Contact: Jesse Broder Van Dyke
Contact Phone: 202-224-7045
Contact E-mail: jesse_brodervandyke@akaka.senate.gov