Underserved Communities

Underserved Communities of North America

Inequality is the greatest threat to democracy. An important focus of NANOG is to provide training and support to underserved communities within North America.

The Internet is not a luxury, it is a lifeline. COVID-19 demonstrated the crisis of many demographics still not having access to the internet in the modern world. Globally, people have been required to work from home and quarantine themselves from their communities. However, this has not been possible for all demographics.

A lack of dependable Internet connectivity has especially impacted Indigenous communities. 

The current state of Internet inequality 

United States 

According to the Eighth Broadband Progress Report:

  • 19 million Americans (6 percent of the population) still lack access to fixed broadband service at threshold speeds. 
  • In rural areas, nearly 1/4 of the population (14.5 million people) lack access to this service and in tribal areas
  • In tribal areas, roughly 1/3 of the population lacks access 
  • Even in areas where broadband is available, approximately 100 million Americans still do not subscribe


According to Statista:

  • In 2020, the internet usage penetration was 87.7 percent of overall population, and 12.3 percent of the total population lacked access to the internet 
  • While Internet usage penetration is increasing every year, it is projected to increase by only .6 percent by 2025, a total of 83.3 percent of the overall population.

Canadian Indigenous Communities 

According to Internet Society: 

  • 29 percent of Yukon Territory households lack access to target 50 Mbps download speed
  • 38 percent of Northwest Territories households lack access to target 50 Mbps download speed
  • Less than 50% of Nunavut households do not even have access to download speeds of 5 Mbps
  • 1/3 of First Nations on-reserve households lack access to the 50/10 target speeds

English-Speaking Caribbean

  • As of 2020, nearly half (50.1 % and 54.5 %) had access to the Internet
  • The average percent Internet usage of population of all English-speaking Caribbean countries was only 74.11 %

Internet Usage % of Population in English-Speaking Caribbean (July 31, 2020)

THE AMERICAS Internet Accessibility (% of population)
Anguilla 84.2 %
Antigua & Barbuda 79.5 %
Bahamas 83.4 %
Barbados 79.9 %
Bermuda 98.0 %
Cayman Islands 88.7 %
Dominica 67.2 %
Dominican Republic 61.1 %
Grenada 63.9 %
Guadeloupe 53.4 %
Jamaica 54.5 %
Martinique 78.8 %
Monserrat 57.9 %
St. Barthélemy (FR) 100.8 %
St. Kitts & Nevis 78.8 %
Saint Lucia 79.6 %
St. Martin (FR) 50.1 %
St. Pierre & Maquelon 79.6 %
St. Vincent & Grenadines 69.9 %
US Virgin Islands 60.6 %
Sint Maarten (NL) 82.3 %
Turks & Caicos 78.3 %
Source: Internet World Stats

Indigenous Connectivity Summit 

Each year, NANOG participates in ISOC's Indigenous Connectivity Summit. This two-day event brings the best and the brightest together, with the shared goal of connecting Indigenous communities to sustainable, fast and affordable Internet. The event is a collaboration hub for community members, Indigenous leaders, network operators, Internet service providers, researchers and policy makers, in effort to create Internet equality. Watch the Indigenous Connectivity Summit 2019 online here. 

NANOG Support

NANOG supports this mission through our vast library of online talks and tutorials. We additionally offer online support via our mailing lists, which reflect years of internet development content, and encourage participation in NANOG conferences.