09.18.19

Daines Fights for Rural Broadband in Indian Country

U.S. SENATE – U.S. Senator Steve Daines today in a U.S. Senate Committee on Indian Affairs (SCIA) hearing urged his colleagues to take action in expanding access to broadband spectrum in Montana’s tribal communities.

SCIA Hearing

To download the full video, click HERE.

“The FCC estimates that 55% of Montana’s tribal areas still lack broadband access. That is unacceptable. Montana is often overlooked out here in DC, and this is especially true of our rural areas and tribal communities like Fort Belknap.

“Access to broadband isn’t just a luxury, it’s essential for accessing good-paying jobs, healthcare, and our global economy,” Daines said.

In July of 2016 Daines sent a letter to the Government Accountability Office (GAO) requesting a review of the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) efforts to collect broadband data for tribal lands. GAO published three reports, each focusing on a recommendation to FCC.

The purpose of this hearing was to discuss the recommendation in the third and final report that recommended that the FCC improve data-collection methods on tribal access to spectrum, analyze unused licensed spectrum over tribal lands, and improve accessibility of information that would promote tribes’ ability to purchase or lease spectrum licenses over their lands from other providers.

Background:

Working for Indian Country has been a top priority for Daines in the U.S. Senate. As a member of the Indian Affairs Committee, Daines is working to promote economic growth in Indian Country and the sovereignty and self-determination of Montana tribes.  

In April of 2018, Daines sent a letter to Chairman Pai of the FCC urging him to use smaller, county-sized license for the 3.5 GHz spectrum that will benefit rural and tribal areas.

To follow Daines latest actions, click HERE

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