Mexican TV Is Interfering with Rural Broadband in California

The Tribal Digital Village has been working since 2001 to improve access to internet for reservation residents, and has faced some unique challenges.

Indigenous peoples living on tribal lands are some of the most underserved people in the US when it comes to broadband. Many tribes share similar barriers no matter where they are in the country. But one group of tribes in southern California is using every tool it can think of, including using television spectrum to broadcast internet wirelessly. Unfortunately, they’ve run into one totally unique hurdle: TV channels are bleeding over the border from Mexico, and eating up their spectrum.

“That is another piece of adventure that came along,” said Matthew Rantanen, the director of technology for Southern California Tribal Charimen’s Association (SCTCA), a consortium of 19 federally recognized Indian tribes in Southern California, including citizens of the Kumeyaay Nation and the Mission Indians.


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The Tribal Digital Village Network (TDVNet) was created with the intent to bring Internet connectivity to the member tribes of SCTCA and empower their people. The Tribal Digital Village(TDV) is a continued set of objectives to help SCTCA achieve its mission thru technology, first and foremost, devised by the community leaders to handle the technical aspects of meeting its mission statement. The primary mission of Southern California Tribal Chairmen's Association (SCTCA) is to serve the health, welfare, safety, education, cultural, economic and employment needs of its tribal members and descendants in the San Diego County urban areas.

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