Three Stages

  1. Assess latest broadband landscape using existing literature and conferences
  2. Interview leading broadband experts, tribal officials, providers and other broadband stakeholders in Indian country
  3. Identify key findings and develop Actionable Recommendations for NTIA


Anticipated Study Findings

1)   Existence and persistence of wide-scale Digital Divide

  • Key Problem – LITTLE MEANINGFUL DATA. Few small carriers, little or no coverage by large carriers, inaccurate and unavailable data held by large carriers

2)   Continued real barriers to access

  • Varied, predominantly remotely located landscape
  • Developing economies – poverty and physically challenging terrain
  • Residential Services most severely impacted – Little incentive for providers to existing customers (e.g., casinos, clinics) to expand services
  • Regulatory and licensure issues due to complex relationships with State or local governments

3)   Broadband strategic ingredient to tribal sovereignty, self-governance, business, economic, and development

  • See model – importance of interaction
  • Avoidable failures in planning and execution hinge on broadband – example – state of the art telemedicine equipment for clinics cannot function without access

4)   Failure of conventional data collection

  • Initial attempts generally failed to consult and collaborate with tribes
  • Overly technical language alienates key players
  • Emerging leaders exist who have successfully overcome the barriers serve as an example of best practices


Recommendations  - new methodology for Indian Country

  1. Build “quick and dirty” broadband snapshot with available map data by merging data from the National Broadband Map and overlaying known Native American telecom provider information [insert map Broadband Coverage Maps Working Draft.]
  2. Leverage multiple approaches to increase likelihood of success
  3. Establish direct, constant contact with primary stakeholders on the ground
  4. Build credibility via Native American opinion leaders
  5. Establish operating alliances and agency partnerships
  6. Lead with multi-pronged data collection plan that prioritizes regions
  7. Create Indian Country-facing identify for data collection
  8. Pursue opportunistic data collection approach
  9. Work within flexible timelines during collection period

For a complete copy of the Feasibilty Study, please contact Dr. Joseph L. Falkson at