2019 Technology Exchange

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Featured Speaker

Matthew R. Rantanen, 'Cyber Warrior for Community Networking'


Matthew R. Rantanen, the Director of Technology for the Southern California Tribal Chairmen's Association (SCTCA) and Director of the Tribal Digital Village Network (TDVNet) Initiative, has been described as a "cyber warrior for community networking." 

Matthew, an expert on community tribal wireless networking, is the featured speaker at the 2019 Technology Exchange held Dec. 9-12 in New Orleans, LA. The TDVNet was created in 2001 to design and deploy wireless networking to support the tribal communities of Southern California. 

Matthew is also the lead in Partnering and Business Development at Arcadian Infracom, a fiber infrastructure company, building long-haul fiber assets to serve the needs of the companies driving the demand, dragging that fiber path through small-town USA and Indian Country, providing opportunity to the unserved and underserved in rural America.

Matthew, of Cree (First Nations, Canada), Finnish, and Norwegian decent, is an advocate for net neutrality, broadband for everyone, and opening more spectrum for public consumption — always looking out for the unconnected. Matthew helps the 20 member tribes of SCTCA (in Southern California and in partnership with CENIC) with technology development and strategy to bring their nations to the current level of communications.

Matthew was appointed as co-chair of the Technology and Telecom Subcommittee of the National Congress of American Indians. He works with tribes to draft telecom policy and promote better opportunities for Tribes within the federal government.

Matthew was named to the FCC Native Nations Broadband Task Force by the FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski in 2011, and was then reappointed under FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler, serving two full terms. He was also named to the Communications Security, Reliability and Interoperability Council's 4 (CSRIC4) at the FCC in June 2013.

Matthew served as the two-term chairman of the board at Native Public Media (NPM), and has held the vice-chair and treasurer positions. 

Matthew is frequently a guest subject matter expert speaker on community networking and grassroots efforts to support unserved and under-served communities, with an emphasis on tribal communities. His speaking engagements have ranged from local and state governments to the federal government departments and agencies. Matthew's international speaking engagements have included multiple ICANN meetings and Internet Governance Forum meetings, including a closing ceremony speech in Geneva.

He also has testified several times at hearings for the Federal Communications Commission, GAO, and the California Public Utilities commission.