I hurt exness my back recently – probably due to wearing 4-inch heels while dragging my suitcase though airports large and small… but I digress.

As you all know, I’ve been thinking a lot of about communications infrastructure in Indian Country and as the ache in my back began to affect the rest of my body, I started thinking about the impact our “backbone” has on the growth of economic development and access to education and healthcare in our community.

Last week, the State of Alaska Broadband Task Force released a report that studied access to broadband in Alaska.  They found that a business with broadband earned an average of $100,000 more a year than a peer business without broadband.

Can you imagine what that means for tribal government enterprises? And for Tribal member businesses?

There are a number of resources available to fund the infrastructure development – USDA, FCC, state grants, private financing, and tribal hard dollars.  But either way you look at it, this must be a priority for tribal leadership.  Too often I hear that the IT department is handling those issues, which is true and we have some truly incredible people working on those issues on the ground, but they need Tribal Leader support!

Without tribal leadership participation and advocacy, it is almost impossible to make the systemic changes needed in the legislation, programs, rules and regulations to make exness trader access to high speed broadband a reality for all our communities.

The Obama Administration is committed to government-to-government consultation and this issue is no different than others Indian Country has rallied behind.  But government-to-government consultation requires tribal leader presence and participation.  For example, this session, Congress is examining the Communications Act and asking for feedback.  Has your Tribe submitted a comment letter?  Are you tracking this issue?  If the answer is “No”, then can we really complain later when Congress begins its revisions and once again, we are left behind?

Without this essential “backbone”, our kids are left behind in education, our elders do not receive the level of healthcare service they otherwise could, and our tribal and tribal member economic development opportunities are diminished.

Loris Taylor, Matt Rantanen, Traci Morris, and Geoff Blackwell at the FCC have been “playing point” on this issue, but we need more tribes, organizations, and tribal leadership to rally behind this Technology Transition.

Contact any us to learn more about opportunities to participate in achieving digital equality for our communities.  If we wait, we will truly end up on the other side of the Digital Divide.