The United States is continuing its transition from analog-based services to digital technologies capable of handling broadband speeds. To ensure that tribes are prepared to lead the way in America’s digital future, NCAI has continued to advocate for increased broadband deployment and access for tribal communities. Tribal communities still lag behind the rest of the United States in access to radio, wireless, and broadband services. This disparity underscores the critical opportunity to ensure the advancement of telecommunications access throughout Indian Country.
Based on recommendations advanced by tribes and tribal organizations in the National Broadband Plan, the FCC announced numerous strategies to obtain feedback on important steps to improve broadband deployment and access on tribal lands. One of the most promising strategies was the creation of a Native Nations Broadband Task Force.
On November 18, 2011 the FCC released a Report and Order and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, which overhauled the Universal Service Fund (USF) and substantially revised its intercarrier compensation (ICC) mechanisms. The 759-page order represents the most significant overhaul of telecommunications regulation in nearly a century. It adopts a new Connect America Fund and a new Mobility Fund, including a set-aside “Tribal Mobility Fund.” The Administration’s policy goal to transition from analog-based services to digital broadband technologies poses unique challenges when many tribal nations even lack access to basic analog services.
NCAI has also worked in coordination with the FCC’s Office of Native Affairs and Policy to ensure effective consultation with tribes and communication with tribal groups and organizations, as well as Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian entities. These efforts have included urging the Administration and Congress to invest the resources necessary to obtain an accurate assessment of broadband capabilities within tribal communities.
GAO Report: "Additional Coordination and Performance Measurement Needed for High Speed Internet Access Programs on Tribal Lands"
Feb 11, 2016
Securing Our Futures Report
Feb 14, 2013
International Markets & Tribal Enterprises: A Guide to Entering the International Market
Sep 04, 2012
Testimony & Speeches
NCAI Testimony for the Record: Senate Committee on Indian Affairs Hearing on, "The GAO Report on, 'Telecommunications: Additional Coordination and Performance Measurement Needed for High-Speed Internet Access Programs on Tribal Lands'"
May 11, 2016
NCAI Opposition to H.R. 4884, the Controlling the Unchecked and Reckless Ballooning of Lifeline Act of 2016
Apr 11, 2016
Ensuring Intermodal USF Support for Rural America
Feb 18, 2016
Calling on the FCC to Comprehensively Improve its Broadband Data to Ensure Tribal Lands are Connected to Broadband
Sep 28, 2018
Calling on the FCC to Re-establish the FCC Office of Native Affairs and Policy’s Tribal Consultation Duties, and Training and Education Efforts
Sep 28, 2018
Calling on the FCC to Regulate the Tribal Lifeline Program According to its Original Intent, and Adhere to the Administrative Procedure Act
Sep 28, 2018
NCAI and NPM Oppose FCC Commissioner Pai’s Lifeline Proposal
Mar 30, 2016
The American Family of Governments, Working Together to Strengthen America’s Economy
Aug 23, 2011
State of Indian Nations Address: “Sovereign Indian Nations at the Dawn of a New Era”
Jan 27, 2011