GAO: Tribes Digital Divide Larger Than FCC Estimated

Published: Monday, October 8, 2018 - 4:54pm
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Map of federally recognized tribal lands

A recent Government Accountability Office report found tribes have lower levels of broadband access than the rest of the country.

The report found the digital divide may be larger than federal officials originally estimated because Federal Communications Commission data overstated availability on tribal lands. Turns out the FCC doesn't have a formal process to collect data.

Over the last eight years, less than 1 percent of broadband funding from federal programs went directly to tribes. The report said tribes had trouble meeting some of the grant requirements, such as the ability to provide an eligible carrier and the ability to sustain the project when grant money runs out.

Broadband provides high-speed Internet service, which can improve communication and drive economic growth.

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