Sens Heinrich, Heller Introduce Bipartisan Legislation To Increase High-Speed Internet Access In Indian Country

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Senators Martin Heinrich (D-NM), Ranking Member of the Joint Economic Committee, and Dean Heller (R-NV) introduced the Tribal Connect Act of 2017 to improve broadband connectivity in Indian Country. The bill would increase access to the Federal Communications Commission's schools and libraries universal service support program, known as E-rate, that provides discounts to assist public schools and libraries obtain high-speed internet access and telecommunications at affordable rates. While most of the nation’s public libraries have received E-rate support, only an estimated 15 percent of Tribal libraries have received critical E-rate funds. The Tribal Connect Act would invest $100 million for broadband access in Indian Country by establishing a Tribal E-rate pilot program and would amend current E-rate eligibility requirements to allow more Tribal libraries to apply for the program. The Tribal Connect Act is supported by the American Library Association, National Congress of American Indians, National Indian Education Association, AMERIND Risk, and the Association of Tribal Archives, Libraries, and Museums


Sens Heinrich, Heller Introduce Bipartisan Legislation To Increase High-Speed Internet Access In Indian Country