GAO Finds National Strategy and Coordination Framework is Needed to Increase Tribal Broadband Access
Broadband is critical to modern life. Despite federal efforts, broadband access on Tribal lands has traditionally lagged behind the rest of the country. The Government Accountability Office (GAO) was asked to review federal efforts for improving broadband on Tribal lands. This report examines: (1) the extent to which federal funding programs have supported the deployment of broadband infrastructure on Tribal lands; (2) barriers tribes and providers face in accessing federally funded programs to serve Tribal lands; and (3) the extent to which federal agencies focus on Tribal issues related to broadband access. GAO is making two recommendations: (1) that the Executive Office of the President should specifically address Tribal needs within a national broadband strategy and (2) that the Department of Commerce create a framework within the American Broadband Initiative for addressing Tribal issues. The Executive Office of the President did not agree or disagree with the GAO's recommendation, but highlighted the importance of tribal engagement in developing a strategy. Commerce agreed in part with its recommendation.
Tribal Broadband: National Strategy and Coordination Framework Needed to Increase Access