Feb. 12, 2019
For many Americans, having 24/7 access to fast, easy, affordable Internet connectivity is a ubiquitous part of daily life. Because Internet providers are not financially motivated to invest in the infrastructure required to provide access in remote, rural regions, however—especially for thousands of Indigenous people living on tribal lands in the United States and Canada—Internet connectivity there often is slow, unreliable, poor quality or even nonexistent.
As a result, these underserved populations are still on the wrong side of the so-called digital divide—missing out on a wide range of educational, cultural and economic opportunities widely available to the rest of the country.
Assistant professor of computer science Morgan Vigil-Hayes in Northern Arizona University’s School of Informatics, Computing, and Cyber Systems is working on a significant project aimed at bringing more reliable Internet access to some of these areas. Using her expertise in network analysis techniques, Vigil-Hayes is designing and implementing community-centric networked systems that can operate in resource-limited environments.