Indian Telecommunications Initiatives Workshop and Roundtable (Digital TV)


(See FCC Public Notice)

Meeting Will Focus on the Transition to Digital Television (DTV) and the FCC’s October 2007 Filing Window for Non-commercial Educational (NCE) Radio Stations

Washington, D.C. – As part of the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) Indian Telecommunications Initiatives (“ITI”), and in cooperation with Native Public Media (NPM), the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI), Native American Public Telecommunications (NAPT), Native American Journalist Association (NAJA), Native American Television (“NATV”), Koahnic Broadcast Corporation ( KBC), the FCC will host its sixth ITI Regional Workshop and Roundtable on July 10 and 11, 2007, in Albuquerque, New Mexico (ITI Albuquerque).

Digital Transition. ITI Albuquerque will focus on the transition to DTV and the steps that consumers will need to take to continue viewing over-the-air signals when analog broadcasting ceases on February 17, 2009. The workshop will discuss various aspects of the DTV transition, including such issues as:

• What is DTV
• DTV transition deadline
• Why the DTV transition is important
• Benefits of DTV
• Types of DTV
• Consumer options—buying a new TV or using a converter box for existing TVs
• Tuner mandate
• TV labeling requirements
• Consumer buying tips

Collaboration and coordination with Tribal governments is crucial to the Commission’s goal of ensuring that consumers throughout the country are aware of the transition and understand what specific steps, if any, they must take to continue watching television after the transition is complete, as required by law, on February 17, 2009. The Workshop will assist Tribes in preparing, organizing and conducting their own DTV awareness programs and initiatives and help to ensure that the FCC’s and the Tribes’ DTV transition education and outreach messages are consistent and effective.

The NCE October 2007 Filing Window. In addition to DTV transition awareness, staff from the FCC’s Media Bureau, the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau, and other bureaus will provide a comprehensive overview of the FCC’s broadcast licensing processes and auctions procedures. Our goal is to bring together knowledgeable people who can assist attendees in understanding key considerations and crucial elements to broadcast station ownership. This overview will be specifically designed to help Tribes identify strategies and resources in preparation for the FCC’s October 2007 window for filing applications to obtain licenses for non-commercial educational (NCE) radio stations.

The FCC’s Indian Telecommunications Initiatives

The FCC’s ITI is a comprehensive program that seeks to promote understanding, cooperation and trust among Tribes and Tribal organizations, the FCC, and the telecommunications industry. The ITI program seeks to build partnerships, identify potential solutions, and bring affordable, quality telecommunications services to Indian Country. The ITI program’s goals - to increase the telephone penetration rate; facilitate the deployment of telecommunications infrastructure on Tribal lands; and inform Tribes about federal government programs, including Universal Service Fund programs, and consumer outreach initiatives such as the DTV transition - are undertaken in Indian Country by the FCC through targeted and effective Tribal outreach, coordination and consultation.

The ITI is designed to increase the FCC’s and Tribal Nations’ understanding of essential telecommunications issues impacting the deployment of telecommunications services in Indian Country and to perpetuate intergovernmental consultation between the parties in order to identify and remove barriers to telecommunications deployment in Indian Country. The Commission’s Office of Intergovernmental Affairs (IGA), located within the Consumer & Governmental Affairs Bureau (CGB), is responsible for coordinating the FCC’s Tribal outreach and consultation.

ITI Albuquerque will continue the government-to-government relationship between the FCC and the Tribal nations in recognition of the FCC’s trust relationship with the American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) community. This event builds upon the successes of the FCC’s previous ITI Workshops and Roundtables, held in Rapid City, South Dakota, in May 2004, on the Coeur d’Alene Tribe’s Reservation in Idaho in November 2004, Albuquerque, New Mexico in July 2005, ITI Broadband in San Diego, California in July 2006, and ITI Montana in Polson, Montana in October 2006.

Registration for “ITI Albuquerque” and More Information

This ITI event is free of charge to registrants. Tribal leaders and community representatives are encouraged to attend. Telecommunications industry representatives and those interested in DTV issues, as well as licensing and auction issues, are also welcome to attend these intergovernmental meetings. To register for the ITI Albuquerque, or to obtain additional information, please call 1-888-CALL-FCC (1-888-225-5322) press number 3 and follow the prompts to leave your full contact information, call 202-418-2510, fax 202-418-2839, or e-mail your full contact information to [email protected].

The ITI Albuquerque Workshop sessions will be held at the The Indian Pueblo Cultural Center located at 2401 12th Street NW (1 block North of I-40) Albuquerque, New Mexico 87104. The phone number is 505-843-7270 or 1-866-855-7902 outside of New Mexico.

For more information about the ITI Albuquerque Workshop, the FCC’s ITI program, or the FCC’s Office of Intergovernmental Affairs, please contact Shana Barehand, Senior Attorney and Liaison to Tribal Governments at 202-418-0385, [email protected], or Robert Somers, Acting Chief, Office of Intergovernmental Affairs at 202-418-1483, [email protected]. Updates and further information about the Albuquerque ITI Workshop will also be made available on the FCC’s Tribal Initiatives website at: