Martin T. Heinrich

Panel tackles lack of high-speed internet in Indian Country

Two western senators are proposing to expand access to a $4 billion federal program that has allowed public schools and libraries throughout the U.S. to obtain high-speed internet at affordable rates as one way to close the digital divide that persists across American Indian communities and other rural areas.

Librarians, policymakers and other experts gathered Thursday in Washington, D.C., for a panel discussion on the legislation and the needs of tribal communities.

Federal Communications Commissioner Mignon Clyburn told the group that investing in broadband infrastructure is critical because those investments increasingly determine which cities, towns and tribal nations...