Listening Session for Tribal Leaders, Staff, and Outreach Partners on Expanding Tribal Library Participation in the E-Rate Program

Office of Native Affairs and Policy and the Wireline Competition Bureau

Federal Communications Commission

Wednesday, October 27, 2021 - 2:00pm
Time Zone: 
EST
Virtual Event

The session will discuss a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) adopted on October 1, 2021, which proposes to update the definition of libraries in its rules to clarify that Tribal libraries are eligible to participate in the Federal Communications Commission’s E-Rate program. The NPRM also solicits input on other steps the FCC could take to encourage and support Tribal schools and libraries’ participation in the E-Rate Program.

The E-Rate Program provides financial support to ensure schools and libraries can obtain affordable, high-speed broadband services and internal connections to connect today’s students and library patrons with next-generation learning opportunities and services. Some Tribal libraries have been unable to receive support from the program, however, because they do not meet the current definition of a library in the FCC’s rules.

The interactive listening session will start with an overview of the NPRM, followed by an opportunity for Tribal participants to ask questions and provide informal feedback. The FCC is particularly interested in getting suggestions from Tribal participants on how to increase awareness of the E-Rate Program among Tribal governments and institutions so more Tribal schools and libraries can sign up to receive the benefits of the E-Rate program.

FCC staff will prepare a written summary of the input received during the listening session and enter it into the public record for this proceeding. In addition, interested parties may submit written comments at any time in the FCC’s Electronic Comment Filing System or request an individual meeting with Commission staff. NPRM Comments are due November 15, 2021 and reply comments are due November 29, 2021 in CC Docket No. 02-6.

To register, please send an email with your name, contact information, and Tribal affiliation to [email protected]. Pre-registration will allow full interactive participation via WebEx.