WASHINGTON June 30, 2010 – The National Congress of American Indians released resolution supporting network neutrality.
The resolution said in part: “An engaged democracy, relies on our ability as citizens to freely access information online,” reads the resolution, “to use that information to determine our own decisions in politics, health, education, environment and other important matters”
It also went onto support the actions being taken by the Federal Communications Commission’s oversight of internet service providers.
The council claims that, ““broadband penetration in Indian Country is estimated to be less than 10 percent … making Native Americans among the most vulnerable populations in the United States.” The New America Foundation corroborates these findings in a recent report.
Sascha Meinrath, director of the New America Foundation’s Open Technology Initiative said, “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,” indicating that if tribal lands were wired for broadband, uptake would be swift and effective.
Official Indian reservations, found primarily in the western half of the United States, are in some of the most remote areas, with little internet penetration, and the resolution claims that, “current market forces and governmental programs are not meeting the communications infrastructure needs of American Indian and Alaska Native communities.”