More than 40 percent of people living on tribal lands do not have access to the Internet, according to the Federal Communications Commission. The Government Accountability Office recently looked into reasons why.
Beginning in 2010, the federal government spent $33 billion on the national goal of high speed Internet access for everyone. But the FCC did not set goals for broadband availability on tribal lands.
Wyoming Senator John Barrasso, who chairs the Indian Affairs Committee, says, "It’s somewhat troubling that quite a bit of money has been spent on this national goal. And Indian tribal governments and communities still struggle to access Internet services."
The Government Accountability Office says two agencies responsible for broadband access-- the FCC and the Department of Agriculture-- did not coordinate well in programs, outreach or training.
The GAO made several recommendations, including developing goals and measures to track progress.