Access to information and communications technologies plays a pivotal role in the socio-economic development of any community. Are developed nations beyond the digital divide? Recent studies show that less than 15% of Native Americans living on Tribal land in the U.S. have home Internet access. In this talk, we will discuss the digital inequalities that exist in developed countries, particularly focusing on the U.S. and its indigenous population. We will present a detailed analysis of Internet traffic traces from Native American communities that demonstrate important nuances of usage. Based on this understanding, we will present new, non-traditional network access approaches that facilitate Internet participation from users within rural, underserved communities.
I will present three case studies: net neutrality, Internet interconnection, and Internet-of-Things. We will discuss whether the manner in which each was deployed coincides with the original research vision; what factors may have resulted in perturbations from the original vision; and whether these perturbations are in the public interest. I will encourage information technology researchers to pay attention to what is in the public interest, to the interests of the parties that may implement the idea, and to whether these interests coincide.