January 22, 2020
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FCC Chairman Highlights Strategy For Increasing Broadband Access In Indian Country



Less Than Ten Percent of Residents of Tribal Lands Estimated to Have Broadband Access


WashingtonD.C. -- Increased access to broadband in Indian Country could create jobs and economic growth, and the National Broadband Plan now being developed by the Federal Communications Commission will make many recommendations to speed the process, said FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski Tuesday.


Broadband has the potential to help Tribal communities advance farther, faster, than any new technology in our lifetime,” said Chairman Genachowski in a speech before a conference of the National Congress of American Indians. “We have to develop a meaningful plan to create jobs and economic growth in Indian Country, to unleash new waves of innovation and investment, and to improve education, health care, energy efficiency, public safety, and self-governance in Tribal lands.” 


The best evidence indicates that the broadband deployment rate on Tribal lands is less than 10 percent, and anecdotal evidence suggests that actual usage rates may be as low as 5 to 8 percent, compared to 65 percent nationwide.


“When we talk about bringing the technology of the future to Tribal lands, I recognize the tremendous challenges we’ve faced in the past, and understand that we must approach these issues through their own unique lens,” Chairman Genachowski said.


Working recommendations in the National Broadband Plan include:

·        Creating a separate Tribal Broadband Fund to support sustainable deployment and adoption programs in Indian Country

·        Improve data-gathering on tribal lands

·        Help Tribal communities acquire technical broadband skills and expertise by expanding the FCC’s Indian Telecommunications Initiative

·        Allow Tribal representatives to participate in the FCC University training programs at no cost


The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 directed the FCC to submit a National Broadband Plan to Congress that addresses broadband deployment, adoption, affordability, and the use of broadband to advance solutions to national priorities.


Read Chairman Genachowski’s full remarks: HERE


Jen Howard, (202) 418-0506

Email: Jen.Howard@fcc.gov 



For more information about the National Broadband Plan, go to www.broadband.gov


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