Visible to the public EAGER: Collaborative Research: A Multi-Network Architecture for Expanding Internet Participation and Community-Building on Native American ReservationsConflict Detection Enabled

Project Details
Lead PI:Elizabeth Belding
Performance Period:07/15/16 - 06/30/18
Institution(s):University of California-Santa Barbara
Sponsor(s):National Science Foundation
Award Number:1637265
277 Reads. Placed 571 out of 803 NSF CPS Projects based on total reads on all related artifacts.
Abstract: Tribal communities represent the final frontiers of Internet access in the U.S., with fast (broadband) Internet access available to fewer than 10% of Native Americans on tribal reservation lands. The lack of broadband access is caused by a collection of challenges, including remote terrain, inadequate funding, and complex telecommunication policies. Yet Native Americans need reliable avenues for participation and contribution to Internet content to strengthen their communities. The work investigates technologies that will increase Internet availability on reservation lands using capacity that has been allocated to TV stations but is unused, so called ?white spaces?. Through the trial of our solutions within Southern California tribal communities, the work has the potential to reach over 2,700 homes and 60 community anchor institutions. While the immediate goal of the project is to benefit Native Americans throughout the U.S., the work has broad applicability beyond this context. Other indigenous groups, as well as low-income rural communities in the U.S. and elsewhere, face similar problems. Course material will be integrated from this project demonstrating the positive humanitarian impact of computer science in order to increase the appeal of computer science to female and minority groups. The goal of the research is to develop technologies to support Native American community building through broadening Internet accessibility and supporting social media content production and dissemination across the reservation. The work outlined in this proposal will make critical inroads to addressing the lack of Internet access on tribal reservations, to increase the number of Native American reservation residents who are able to engage with, create, and disseminate Internet and on-line social network content. The goal will be achieve through three related elements: (1) Development of an architecture suitable for a multi-network setting comprised of cellular, wireless ISP and whitespace networks, where coverage, cost and network speed varies. (2) Partnering with the community to pilot a next generation whitespace network on reservation lands, demonstrating geographic reach beyond current pilots and supporting quantitative measurements of changes in network use before and after deployment. (3) Using the initial lessons learned from the pilot to develop approaches to network management that span the socio-technical including, as appropriate, spectrum management, access management, caching policies and scheduled and on-demand content.