ZeroDivide Tribal

Tribal Digital Village Broadband Adoption Program

According to the Southern California Tribal Chairmen’s Association, baseline broadband adoption among the 15 Native American tribes in rural San Diego County is only 17 percent compared to the national average of 66 percent. ZeroDivide’s Tribal Digital Village (TDV) project aims to raise that number to 70 percent by providing 8,900 tribal residents and 2,000 residents living in adjacent communities with broadband training, awareness, and adoption programs. This project will complement the Tribal Digital Village Network, which currently serves tribal community anchor institutions, plans to expand its services to deploy broadband to 2,000 tribal homes on 15 of the 19 tribal communities in San Diego County.

Total Award: 
$686,157
BTOP In Action
A TDV instructor helps two students navigate the Internet

ZeroDivide is leapfrogging the digital divide in 19 tribal communities across rural southeastern California, using a unique community-driven approach to provide broadband access and increase sustainable broadband adoption. Known as the Tribal Digital Village (TDV) project, ZeroDivide is partnering with the Southern California Tribal Chairmen’s Association (SCTCA) to provide approximately 8,900 tribal residents with digital literacy training. The TDV project is also working to provide 2,000 tribal homes with affordable wireless broadband services. As of June 2011, BTOP funding has helped the project provide training to more than 650 people and deploy broadband service to 955 tribal households.

Historically, geographic isolation and cultural barriers have resulted in Native Americans’ broadband adoption rates being among the lowest of any ethnic group within the continental United States. To improve these rates, ZeroDivide is offering broadband awareness and digital literacy trainings on a variety of topics, including computer basics, Internet fundamentals, and using online communication tools. The project is also utilizing its newly installed digital media production equipment to enhance its curriculum and allow participants to learn through a mix of live classroom instruction and interactive software.

TDV is also expanding a high-speed wireless Internet network to bridge the digital gap to these reservations. BTOP funds are helping the project expand the reservations’ network into more than 2,000 homes on 15 of the 19 tribal communities in San Diego County.

Last Updated: December 7, 2011

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