Senate Committee on Indian Affairs Approves Bridging the Tribal Digital Divide Act

The Senate Committee on Indian Affairs passed the Bridging the Tribal Digital Divide Act of 2020. The bill would expedite the deployment of affordable broadband service on Tribal lands by coordinating and improving the effectiveness of federal resources. Specifically, the bill would:

- Establish the Tribal Broadband Interagency Working Group to improve coordination across federal broadband programs and reduce deployment barriers;
- Require that technical assistance be provided to interested, underserved Native communities to develop a broadband deployment plan;
- Streamline the application process for federal grants to support the deployment of broadband services on Tribal lands;
- Establish a Tribal Broadband Deployment Advisory Committee;
- Sets aside FCC and USDA funds for the benefit of broadband deployment on Tribal lands; and
- Establish the Tribal Broadband Right-of-Way Pilot Program.

Committee Advances Four Indian Bills During Business Meeting