Connectivity and Broadband

Connectivity and Broadband

The United States is continuing its transition from analog-based services to digital technologies capable of handling broadband speeds. The disparity of Tribal Nations’ access to radio, wireless, and broadband services underscores the critical opportunity to ensure the advancement of telecommunications access throughout Indian Country.

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Federal Communications Commission

The Office of Native Affairs and Policy (ONAP) was established by FCC Order in 2010 to further the Commission's efforts to bring the benefits of modern communications to all Native communities. ONAP assists the Commission in developing policies and programs to address the lack of adequate communications services on Tribal lands nationwide.

The Native Nations Communications Task Force's mission is to provide guidance, expertise, and recommendations to the Commission on a range of telecommunications issues that directly or indirectly affect Tribal governments and their people. USET representation on the Native Nations Communications Task Force includes the Honorable Cheryl Andrews-Maltais (Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head [Aquinnah]) and the Honorable Michael Conners (Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe).

National Tribal Broadband Grant

The Office of Indian Energy and Economic Development (IEED) manages the National Tribal Broadband Grant (NTBG) to develop or extend broadband services in Tribal communities. IEED also hosts the National Tribal Broadband Summit.

Technology-Led Development

Why is connectivity and broadband development necessary in Tribal communities? Not only is it a vital infrastructure need, technology development is an important part of entrepreneurial and small business development, and economic growth. Communities who invest in knowledge-driven economies see business creation, expansion of existing businesses through new products or services, increased business efficiency and competitiveness.