University of Cambridge > Talks.cam > Computer Laboratory Systems Research Group Seminar > A First Look at the Internet Usage Context of Indigenous U.S. Populations

A First Look at the Internet Usage Context of Indigenous U.S. Populations

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Are developed nations beyond the digital divide? Recent studies show that less than 10% of Native Americans living on Tribal land in the U.S. have Internet access. In this talk, we will discuss the problem of the digital divide in developed countries, particularly focusing on the U.S. and its indigenous population. We will present a detailed analysis of the usage of the Tribal Digital Village (TDV) network, a multi-hop wireless network that connects 13 reservations in Southern California. Through exploration of facets of network usage that differ from the mainstream population, we find that large fractions of media uploads fail, despite the usage of only a fraction of the total bandwidth capacity. By more deeply understanding the connectivity needs and realities of these populations, we use the results of our analysis to look for alternate methods of information dissemination. In particular we explore the use of the Radio Data System (RDS) as a means for low bandwidth delivery of social network content to those users in areas without Internet coverage.

Elizabeth M. Belding is a Professor in the Department of Computer Science at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Elizabeth’s research focuses on mobile and wireless networking, including network performance analysis, and information and communication technologies for development (ICTD). In the past 7 years, she has particularly focused on improving Internet accessibility in developing communities worldwide. Elizabeth is the author of over 100 technical papers and has served on over 60 conference technical program committees. Elizabeth is currently on the editorial board of the IEEE Pervasive Magazine. She is an ACM Distinguished Scientist and an IEEE Fellow. She is particularly proud of receiving the UCSB Outstanding Graduate Mentor Award in 2012 and the NCWIT Harrold and Notkin Research and Graduate Mentoring Award in 2015 for her mentorship of graduate students.

This talk is part of the Computer Laboratory Systems Research Group Seminar series.

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