FCC Extends COVID Waivers Impacting Lifeline, Affordable Connectivity Program Tribal Subscribers

In response to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in the US, the Federal Communications Commission's Wireline Competition Bureau has waived certain Lifeline program rules in thirteen previous Orders to provide relief for low-income households. The Bureau finds good cause exists to continue to waive the Lifeline recertification and re-verification requirements for those Lifeline subscribers residing on Tribal lands through April 30, 2023.

February 2023 Open Meeting Agenda

Here’s what the Federal Communications Commission will consider at our February open meeting.

Broadband Grant Awarded to Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe

The Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe recently was awarded an $18.7 million broadband grant courtesy of the Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA.) The grant comes from  NTIA’s Tribal Broadband Connectivity Program. Leech Lake was one of only two Tribes to be a recipient of the program’s new grants, totaling more than $36 million.

Remote and Indigenous Broadband: A Comparison of Canadian and US Initiatives and Indigenous Engagement

This article compares funding and other broadband policies for rural and Indigenous regions in Canada and in the United States, concluding with lessons from Canadian and US policy and regulatory experiences that could be relevant for broadband policy development in other countries with rural and Indigenous regions. There are many similarities in regulations and policies in the US and Canada concerning Indigenous and rural broadband. Both have several government funding programs to upgrade or extend rural broadband, including to Indigenous/Tribal communities.

Digital Divide Diaries: The Hoopa Valley Versus The Digital Divide

This summer, the mountains moved in Hoopa Valley (CA). As a wildfire burned through trees and vegetation, a thunderstorm dropped two inches of rain in one day. Meanwhile, online, residents were clamoring to Facebook to learn what had happened. Others started to email Frank, who serves as a youth coordinator with Save California Salmon and Miss Na:tini-we’, a cultural and political ambassador for the Hoopa Valley Tribe.

Biden-Harris Administration Announces More Than $40.3 Million in High-Speed Internet Grants for Tribal Lands

The Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) awarded nine grants as part of the Tribal Broadband Connectivity Program (TBCP). These new grants, totaling more than $40.3 million, bring the total of the program to nearly $1.7 billion awarded to 130 Tribal entities.

FCC Chairwoman Rosenworcel Visits New Mexico to Promote Tribal Library Connectivity

Federal Communications Commission Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel will visit Isleta and Laguna Pueblos in northern New Mexico and meet with Tribal library representatives and Tribal leaders from several Pueblos and Navajo Nation, as part of agency efforts to ensure everyone, everywhere has the internet connections they need.

Maine Connectivity Authority Commits $4 Million of Awards to 26 Communities, Regional and Tribal Groups

The Maine Connectivity Authority (MCA) commits 26 awards totaling more than $4 million in funding and support to community, regional and tribal organizations through the Regional & Tribal Broadband Partners and Get Ready Community Support programs. These initiatives will support community-driven broadband solutions that ensure universal connectivity, strengthen and grow the number of partners thinking about digital equity and inclusion, and create increased alignment and coordination between communities, regions, and the state.

2022 Indigenous Connectivity Summit: Calls to Action

Each year, the Indigenous Connectivity Summit (ICS) brings together Indigenous leaders, network operators, and policymakers to nurture a continent-wide community dedicated to enhancing the capacity of Indigenous communities to connect to affordable, sustainable internet on their terms. As part of this effort, each year since the first ICS in 2017, delegates have developed and endorsed a set of recommendations that, if adopted by governments and other stakeholders, will help advance connectivity in Indigenous communities in Canada and the US.

Tribal Recovery Report

A look at how Tribal governments are using financial support through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) to provide critical recovery assistance and improve the health and well-being of Tribal citizens. The $20 billion in ARPA State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds (SLFRF) allocated to Tribal governments represents the largest single infusion of federal funding into Indian Country. The efforts highlighted reveal the vast and impressive reach SLFRF has had as a catalyst for recovery.