Expanding Broadband and Other Communications Services in Native Nations

The Federal Communications Commission acted on several regulatory items to strengthen and expand communications services to Native Nations and their communities. The Commission held a Native Nations Day as part of its open meeting with a renewed focus on initiatives that will help expand access to vital communications, including broadband, wireless and radio services in these communities across the United States.

The meeting included public presentations from several Native Nation leaders, and afternoon nation-to-nation consultation sessions. The items adopted by the FCC include:

  • A Notice of Inquiry (NOI) on improving communications services for Native Nations that seeks comment on a number of issues, including greater broadband deployment, the need for a uniform definition of Tribal lands to be used agency-wide in rulemakings, and the importance of strengthening the FCC's nation-to-nation consultation process with Native Nations.
  • A Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) on ways to expand the efficient use of spectrum over Tribal lands so as to improve access to mobile wireless communications, which will provide consumers with more choices on how they communicate, share information and get their news.
  • A Second Report and Order, First Order on Reconsideration, and a Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (FNPRM) that will help expand opportunities for Tribal entities to provide broadcast radio services to Native communities.

Expanding Broadband and Other Communications Services in Native Nations Statement (Chairman Genachowski)