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We realize that some of our audience may not be familiar with the telecommunications industry or high speed data access, so we thought we’d take a step back and explain…
CEO Corner: How Does High Speed Data Access Create Jobs for Tribal Communities?

We realize that some of our audience may not be familiar with the telecommunications industry or high speed data access, so we thought we’d take a step back and explain from a layperson’s perspective what some of the basic terminology is, and then describe in simple terms how we can apply this technology to help create jobs on reservations and in native communities.

Native Network helps communities connect the main broadband connections — the fiber optic pipes that service North America — and then distribute these connections throughout the community.

Think of these main connections (trunks) as the huge digital pipelines that carry the flow of information around the country. In order to connect to these networks, you need to tap into the line and create a spigot. This connection carries information to and from main trunks. Once the main spigot has been built, then it’s possible to deliver digital information to individual homes and businesses through smaller digital pipes.

Digital information is anything that can be represented by a sequence of 1’s and zeroes (bits). That includes everything from text and pictures to music and video. Modern digital pipelines are able to send these sequences of code at very high speed — millions of bits per second. The larger the pipe, the more bits can travel through it at once.

Imagine having a sink in your home where you turn it on and water just trickles out. Sometimes it stops altogether, forcing you to wait for more water to drip out. It might take 10 minutes just to fill a small cup. That’s what it’s like when you have an internet connection that doesn’t have enough bandwidth.

Providing sufficient bandwidth for high speed communications enables people to send and receive information in real time. This creates opportunities for existing businesses to order parts, communicate with customers and use online business management applications. It also creates a whole new category of businesses that provide jobs that depend solely on high speed data access, such as customer service centers and data storage and processing centers.

Finally, providing access to high speed data makes it possible for businesses to return to reservations, providing additional employment opportunities. There are Native-owned and operated businesses that would consider moving back to reservations and native communities if they had access to the high speed data services they require.

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