From Northern Village to Global Village: Satellite Communications for Development in the Arctic


From Northern Village to Global Village: Satellite Communications for Development in the Arctic

About the Speaker

Dr. Heather E. Hudson is Director of the Institute of Social and Economic Research (ISER) and Professor of Public Policy at the University of Alaska Anchorage. Previously, she was founding Director of the Communications Technology Management and Policy Program at the University of San Francisco. Her work focuses on applications of ICTs for socio-economic development, regulation and policy issues including universal service/access, and policies and strategies to extend affordable access to new technologies and services, particularly in rural and remote areas.

Prof. Hudson has planned and evaluated communication projects in Alaska, northern Canada, and more than 50 developing countries and emerging economies in Africa, Asia, Latin America, the Caribbean, the Middle East, Eastern Europe, and the South Pacific. She has consulted for the private sector, government agencies, consumer and indigenous organizations, and international organizations. She is currently an IEEE Distinguished Lecturer, and been a keynote speaker for IEEE chapters in South Africa, Tanzania, and New Zealand.

She has written many articles and several books, and has presented numerous conference papers and as well as expert testimony on communications policy issues such as universal service and access, incentives for investing in information infrastructure, restructuring of the telecommunications sector, and telecommunications planning for socio-economic development. She is the author of From Rural Village to Global Village: Telecommunications for Developing in the Information Age; Global Connections: International Telecommunications Infrastructure and Policy; Communication Satellites: Their Development and Impact and When Telephones Reach the Village, and co-author of Electronic Byways: State Policies for Rural Development through Telecommunications and Rural America in the Information Age.

In fall 2009, she held the Fulbright Visiting North American Policy Research Chair at Carleton University in Ottawa to conduct a comparative study of Canadian and U.S. broadband policies. She has also been a Sloan Foundation Industry Fellow at Columbia University’s Institute for Tele-Information, has held a Fulbright Distinguished Lectureship for the Asia/Pacific, and has been an Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Hong Kong, and Senior Fellow at CIRCIT in Australia, and at the East-West Center in Hawaii.

She has served as a board member of the Pacific Telecommunications Council (PTC), Telecommunications Policy Research Conference (TPRC), Women in Telecommunications (WiT), Farm Radio International, and the International Council for Computer Communications (ICCC). She has served on the editorial boards of Telecommunications Policy, Information Technologies and International Development, and The Journal of Community Informatics.

She has been a member of Advisory Committees of the U.S. National Research Council, the Federal Communications Commission, the Department of Commerce and the Office of Technology Assessment. Her research has been funded by inter alia the Benton Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the Sloan Foundation, the International Development Research Centre, the World Bank, the International Telecommunication Union, the Aspen Institute, and the Telecommunications Education Trust.



This presentation will examine the role of satellites in linking isolated communities in the Arctic, particularly in Alaska, with examples also from Northern Canada and Greenland. It will include a review of telemedicine, distance education, e-commerce, e-government, and indigenous cultural applications.

Also covered will be current projects in Alaska funded by Stimulus grants from the U.S. Department of Commerce and the Rural Utilities Service. Current policy issues including technology trends, expansion of broadband, and universal service fund support for rural areas will also be addressed.


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Publication Date



Grand Forks, ND

From Northern Village to Global Village: Satellite Communications for Development in the Arctic