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NTUA Wireless Conditional or Lifeline ETC Designation on Navajo Nation

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Released: February 18, 2014

Federal Communications Commission

DA 14-200

Before the

Federal Communications Commission

Washington, D.C. 20554

In the Matter of
)
)

Telecommunications Carriers Eligible for
)
WC Docket No. 09-197
Universal Service Support
)
)

Petitions for Designation as an
)
WT Docket No. 10-208
Eligible Telecommunications Carrier
)
For Purposes of Participation in
)
Tribal Mobility Fund Phase I
)
)

Second Amendment to Petition of NTUA
)
Wireless, LLC for Designation as an Eligible
)
Telecommunications Carrier for Lifeline Service
)
and for Conditional ETC Status to Participate in
)
Tribal Mobility Fund Phase I (Auction 902) on the )
Navajo Nation
)

ORDER

Adopted: February 18, 2014

Released: February 18, 2014

By the Chief, Wireline Competition Bureau and the Acting Chief, Wireless Telecommunications Bureau:

I.

INTRODUCTION

1.
In this Order, the Wireline Competition Bureau and the Wireless Telecommunications
Bureau (Bureaus) conditionally designate NTUA Wireless, Inc. (NTUA Wireless) as an eligible
telecommunications carrier (ETC) on the Navajo Nation located in Arizona, New Mexico, and Utah
(Navajo Nation) for those areas on the Navajo Nation in which NTUA Wireless becomes authorized to
receive support in Tribal Mobility Fund Phase I.1 In areas in which NTUA Wireless’s designation
becomes effective pursuant to the Tribal Mobility Fund, NTUA Wireless will be required to provide
Lifeline services and satisfy other ETC obligations as described herein. We otherwise designate NTUA
Wireless as a limited ETC, eligible to receive Lifeline-only support on the Navajo Nation in areas where
NTUA Wireless does not receive support in the Tribal Mobility Fund Phase I.


1 See Second Amendment to Petition of NTUA Wireless, LLC for Designation as an Eligible Telecommunications
Carrier for Lifeline Service and for Conditional ETC Status to Participate in the Tribal Mobility Fund Phase I
(Auction 902) on the Navajo Nation, WC Docket No. 09-197, WT Docket No. 10-208, AU Docket No. 13-53 (filed
Sept. 30, 2013) (Second Amended NTUA Wireless Petition); see also Petition of NTUA Wireless, LLC for
Designation as an Eligible Telecommunications Carrier on the Navajo Nation, WC Docket 09-197 (filed Mar. 3,
2011) (NTUA Wireless March 2011 Petition); Correction to ETC Petition of NTUA Wireless, LLC, WC Docket 09-
197 (filed Aug. 18, 2011) (NTUA Wireless Petition Correction); Amendment to Petition of NTUA Wireless, LLC,
for Designation as an Eligible Telecommunications Carrier for Lifeline Service and to Qualify for the Mobility
Fund Phase I (Auction 901) on the Navajo Nation, WC Docket No. 09-197, WT Docket No. 10-208, AU Docket No.
12-25 (filed Sept. 5, 2012).

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2.
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC or Commission) shares an historic
federal trust relationship with federally recognized Tribal Nations, has a longstanding policy of promoting
Tribal self-sufficiency and economic development, and has a record of helping ensure that Tribal Nations
have adequate access to communications services.2 Tribal governments play a vital role in serving the
needs and interests of their local communities, often in remote, low-income, and underserved regions of
the country. Owning and operating critical communications infrastructure empowers Tribal Nations to
protect the health and safety of consumers living on Tribal lands, to spur local economic development, to
preserve Tribal language and culture, and to further the education of residents through federal distance
education programs. Given the difficulties faced in these remote, underserved Tribal lands, and the
upcoming Tribal Mobility Fund Phase I auction, the Bureaus recognize the importance of universal
service support to providing services to the residents of this Tribal Nation. We find that it is appropriate
at this time to designate NTUA Wireless, a facilities-based provider offering service on Tribal lands, so
that the company will know its ETC status prior to the Tribal Mobility Fund Phase I auction.
Additionally, based on the facts presented, we believe that NTUA Wireless’s offerings will benefit low-
income consumers of the Navajo Nation.

II.

BACKGROUND

A.

ETC Designations Pursuant to the Communications Act

3.
Section 254(e) of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended (Act), provides that
“only an eligible telecommunications carrier designated under section 214(e) shall be eligible to receive
specific federal universal service support.”3 Pursuant to section 214(e)(1)(A) and (B), a common carrier
designated as an ETC must offer the services supported by the federal universal service support
mechanisms either using its own facilities or a combination of its own facilities and resale of another
carrier’s services throughout its designated service area and must advertise the availability and charges for
those services.4
4.
Although state commissions have primary responsibility for designating ETCs,5 that
responsibility shifts to the FCC for a carrier “providing telephone exchange service and exchange access
that is not subject to the jurisdiction of a State commission.”6 The FCC has established a framework for


2 Statement of Policy on Establishing a Government-to-Government Relationship with Indian Tribes, Policy
Statement, 16 FCC Rcd 4078, 4080–81 (2000) (Tribal Policy Statement).
3 47 U.S.C. § 254(e).
4 47 U.S.C. § 214(e)(1)(A), (B).
5 47 U.S.C. § 214(e)(2); see Federal-State Joint Board on Universal Service; Promoting Deployment and
Subscribership in Unserved and Underserved Areas, Including Tribal and Insular Areas; Smith Bagley, Inc.,
Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe Telephone Authority, Western Wireless Corporation, Wyoming, Cellco Partnership
d/b/a/ Bell Atlantic Mobile, Inc., Petitions for Designation as an Eligible Telecommunications Carrier and for
Related Waivers to Provide Universal Service
, CC Docket No. 96-45, Twelfth Report and Order, Memorandum
Opinion and Order, and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, 15 FCC Rcd 12208, 12255, para. 93 (2000)
(Twelfth Report and Order), recon. sub nom. Promoting Deployment and Subscribership in Unserved and
Underserved Areas, Including Tribal and Insular Areas
, CC Docket No. 96-45, Twenty-Fifth Order on
Reconsideration, Report and Order, Order, and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, 18 FCC Rcd 10958 (2003)
(Tribal Recon. Order).
6 47 U.S.C. § 214(e)(6); see, e.g., Virginia Cellular, LLC Petition for Designation as an Eligible
Telecommunications Carrier for the Commonwealth of Virginia
, CC Docket No. 96-45, Memorandum Opinion and
Order, 19 FCC Rcd 1563 (2004) (Virginia Cellular Order); Highland Cellular, Inc. Petition for Designation as an
Eligible Telecommunications Carrier for the Commonwealth of Virginia
, CC Docket No. 96-45, Memorandum
Opinion and Order, 19 FCC Rcd 6422 (2004) (Highland Cellular Order), both orders aff’d sub nom. Federal-State
Joint Board on Universal Service; Petitions for Reconsideration of Virginia Cellular, LLC and Highland Cellular,

(continued . . .)
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determining whether a state commission or the FCC itself has jurisdiction to designate ETCs on Tribal
lands.7 First, a carrier serving Tribal lands must petition the FCC for a determination on whether the state
has jurisdiction over the carrier.8 The FCC then determines whether the carrier is subject to the
jurisdiction of a state commission or whether it is subject to a Tribal authority given the Tribal interests
involved. In the latter case, the FCC has jurisdiction to designate the carrier as an ETC9 and will proceed
to consider the merits of the carrier’s petition for designation.10
5.
Under section 214(e)(6), the Commission may, with respect to an area served by a rural
telephone company, and shall, in all other cases, designate more than one common carrier as an ETC for a
designated service area, consistent with the public interest, convenience, and necessity, so long as the
requesting carrier meets the requirements of section 214(e)(1).11 Before designating an additional ETC
for an area served by a rural telephone company, the Commission must determine that the designation is
in the public interest.12

B.

Commission Requirements for ETC Designation

6.
A petitioner seeking ETC designation from the FCC must file a petition that includes: (1)
a certification and brief statement of supporting facts demonstrating that it is not subject to the jurisdiction
of a state commission; (2) a certification that it offers or intends to offer all services designated for
support by the Commission pursuant to section 254(c) of the Act; (3) a certification that it offers or
intends to offer the supported services either using its own facilities or a combination of its own facilities
and resale of another carrier’s services;13 (4) a description of how it advertises the availability of the
supported services and the charges therefor using media of general distribution; (5) if the petitioner is not
a rural telephone company, a detailed description of the geographic service area for which it requests to
be designated as an ETC;14 and (6) a certification that neither it, nor any party to the application, is subject
to a denial of federal benefits pursuant to the Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1988.15
7.
Consistent with relevant service obligations, an entity designated as an ETC eligible for
high-cost support must submit a five-year plan that describes with specificity proposed improvements or
upgrades to the applicant's network throughout its proposed service area, estimating the area and
population that will be served as a result.16 In addition, Commission’s rules require that a petitioner
seeking an ETC designation, either for high-cost support or for Lifeline-only support, must: (1) certify
that it will comply with the service requirements applicable to the support that it receives; (2) demonstrate
(Continued from previous page)


Inc. Designations as Eligible Telecommunications Carriers in the Commonwealth of Virginia, CC Docket No. 96-
45, Order on Reconsideration, 27 FCC Rcd 15383 (2012).
7 Twelfth Report and Order, 15 FCC Rcd at 12265–69, paras. 115–27; Tribal Recon. Order, 18 FCC Rcd at 10964,
para. 11 n.28.
8 Twelfth Report and Order, 15 FCC Rcd at 12265–69, paras. 115–27.
9 Id. at 12266–67, paras. 120–22.
10 Id. at 12265, para. 115.
11 Id.
12 Id.
13 See Procedures for FCC Designation of Eligible Telecommunications Carriers Pursuant to Section 214(e)(6) of
the Communications Act
, Public Notice, 12 FCC Rcd 22947, 22948-49 (1997) (Section 214(e)(6) Public Notice).
14 But see Telecommunications Carriers Eligible for Support, WC Docket Nos. 09-197 and 11-42, Memorandum
Opinion and Order, 28 FCC Rcd 4859 (2013) (Lifeline Service Area Redefinition Forbearance Order) (forbearing
from service area redefinition requirements for Lifeline-only ETCs).
15 See Section 214(e)(6) Public Notice, 12 FCC Rcd at 22948-49.
16 47 C.F.R. § 54.202(a)(1)(ii).
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its ability to remain functional in emergency situations; (3) demonstrate that it will satisfy applicable
consumer protection and service quality standards; (4) demonstrate that it is financially and technically
capable of providing the Lifeline service in compliance with our rules; and (5) submit information
describing the terms and conditions of any voice telephony plans offered to Lifeline subscribers,
including details on the number of minutes provided as part of the plan, additional charges, if any, for toll
calls, and rates for each such plan.17
8.
Prior to designating a carrier as an ETC pursuant to section 214(e)(6), the Commission
must determine whether such designation is in the public interest.18 When making a public interest
determination, the Commission historically has considered the benefits of increased consumer choice and
the unique advantages and disadvantages of the applicant’s service offering.19 The Commission has
delegated authority to the Wireline Competition Bureau to consider appropriate ETC designation
requests.20

C.

Federal Universal Service Lifeline Support

9.
The Lifeline program reduces the monthly cost of telecommunications service for
qualifying low-income consumers. Under the Lifeline program ETCs receive $9.25 of support per month
for providing Lifeline service to eligible low-income consumers.21 The program provides up to an
additional $25 per month in support to ETCs that provide Lifeline to eligible residents of Tribal lands.22

D.

Tribal Mobility Fund Phase I

10.
In the USF/ICC Transformation Order, the Commission comprehensively reformed and
modernized the high-cost component of the Universal Service Fund (USF) to help ensure the universal
availability of fixed and mobile communication networks capable of providing voice and broadband
services where people live, work, and travel. To further achievement of that goal, the Commission
created the Mobility Fund. In particular, the Commission provided that in Phase I of the Tribal Mobility
Fund, it would award by reverse auction up to $50 million in one-time support to immediately accelerate
deployment of current and next generation networks providing mobile voice and broadband services in
Tribal lands not presently covered by such networks.23 The Commission will offer Tribal Mobility Fund
Phase I support through Auction 902, which is scheduled for February 25, 2014.


17 See 47 C.F.R. § 54.202(a).
18 See 47 U.S.C. § 214(e)(6); 47 C.F.R. § 54.202(b); see also Federal-State Joint Board on Universal Service, CC
Docket No. 95-45, Report and Order, 20 FCC Rcd 6371, 6388-96, paras. 40-57 (2005) (ETC Designation Order);
Virginia Cellular Order, 19 FCC Rcd at 1575, para. 27; Highland Cellular Order, 19 FCC Rcd at 6431–32, para.
21. The Commission places the burden on the ETC applicant to demonstrate that designation will serve the public
interest. ETC Designation Order, 20 FCC Rcd at 6390, para. 44.
19 See Virgin Mobile ETC Designation Order in the States of Alabama, Connecticut, Delaware, New Hampshire and
the District of Columbia,
WC Docket 09-197, Order, 25 FCC Rcd 17797, 17799, para. 6 (Wireline Comp. Bur.
2010).
20 47 C.F.R. § 54.207(e).
21 See Lifeline and Link Up Reform and Modernization et al., WC Docket Nos. 11-42 et al., Report and Order and
Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, 27 FCC Rcd 6656, 6663, para. 14 (2012) (Lifeline Reform Order). The
$9.25 support amount on non-Tribal lands is an interim rate.
22 Id. at 6663-64. Lifeline support is passed on to the subscriber by the ETC, which provides discounts to eligible
households and receives reimbursements from the universal service fund for provision of such discounts. Id. at
6663.
23 Connect America Fund; A National Broadband Plan for Our Future; Establishing Just and Reasonable Rates for
Local Exchange Carriers; High-Cost Universal Service Support; Developing an Unified Intercarrier Compensation
Regime; Federal-State Joint Board on Universal Service; Lifeline and Link-Up; Universal Service Reform-Mobility

(continued . . .)
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11.
In the auction for Tribal Mobility Fund Phase I support, applicants will bid for the
amount of support they need to meet the Tribal Mobility Fund Phase I service and other public interest
obligations in the eligible census blocks covered by the geographic area on which they bid. Applicants,
except for Tribally-owned and controlled entities, must be designated as ETCs in the areas on which they
wish to bid prior to filing their auction applications.24 In connection with the Tribal Mobility Fund, the
Bureaus have delegated authority to grant or deny ETC designation petitions.25 An ETC designation may
be conditional subject to receipt of Tribal Mobility Fund Phase I support.26

E.

NTUA Wireless Petition

12.
NTUA Wireless originally filed a request seeking designation as an ETC within the
Navajo Nation on March 3, 2011, prior to the Commission’s reforms in the USF/ICC Transformation
Order
.27 On March 30, 2011, the Wireline Competition Bureau released a public notice seeking comment
on the NTUA Wireless March 2011 Petition.28 In 2012, the Bureaus released a Protective Order so that
interested parties might have a means of reviewing information redacted from publicly available filings
related to NTUA Wireless’s petition.29
13.
On September 30, 2013, NTUA Wireless provided additional information and clarified
its request to be designated as an ETC in a proposed area covering all of the Navajo Nation.30 In part,
NTUA Wireless clarified that it seeks to participate in Auction 902, the upcoming competitive bidding for
support offered in Tribal Mobility Fund Phase I.31 NTUA Wireless states that it meets all of the eligibility
(Continued from previous page)


Fund, WC Docket Nos. 10-90, 07-135, 05-337, 03-109, CC Docket Nos. 01-92, 96-45, GN Docket No. 09-51, WT
Docket No. 10-208, Report and Order and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, 26 FCC Rcd 17663, 17819-20,
para. 481 (2011) (USF/ICC Transformation Order) (subsequent history omitted).
24 See id. at 17798-99, paras. 388-92; 47 C.F.R. § 54.1003. A Tribal entity may participate in the auction provided it
has applied for designation as an ETC for the relevant area and that application is still pending. Any such entity
must still receive designation prior to support being awarded. USF/ICC Transformation Order, 26 FCC Rcd at
17823, para. 491; 47 C.F.R. § 54.1004(a).
25 See 47 C.F.R. §§ 0.91(p) (functions of Wireline Competition Bureau), 0.131(r) (functions of Wireless
Telecommunications Bureau), 0.291 (delegation of authority to Wireline Competition Bureau), 0.331 (delegation of
authority to Wireless Telecommunications Bureau); see also Section 214(e)(6) Public Notice, 12 FCC Rcd at 22947
(express delegation with respect to ETC designations to predecessor to Wireline Competition Bureau); Eligible
Telecommunications Carrier Designation for Participation in Mobility Fund Phase I
, WC Docket No. 09-197, WT
Docket No. 10-208, AU Docket No. 12-25, Public Notice, 27 FCC Rcd 2054 (Wireless Telecom. Bur. and Wireline
Comp. Bur. 2012).
26 47 C.F.R. § 54.1003(a); see also USF/ICC Transformation Order, 26 FCC Rcd at 17798-99 paras. 389, 392.
27 See generally NTUA Wireless March 2011 Petition.
28 Wireline Competition Bureau Seeks Comment on NTUA Wireless, LLC Petition for Designation as an Eligible
Telecommunications Carrier
, WC Docket No. 09-197, Public Notice, 26 FCC Rcd 4993 (Wireline Comp. Bur.
2011).
29 Petitions for Designation as an Eligible Telecommunications Carrier for Purposes of Participation in Mobility
Fund Phase I
, WC Docket No. 09-197, WT Docket No. 10-208, AU Docket No. 12-25, Protective Order, 27 FCC
Rcd 5281 (Wireless Telecom. Bur. and Wireline Comp. Bur. 2012). The Bureaus also recently adopted a protective
order limiting access to proprietary and confidential information that may be filed in WC Docket No. 09-197 and
WT Docket No. 10-208 in connection with petitions filed for designation as an ETC for purposes of participation in
any Mobility Fund auction. See Petitions For Designation As An Eligible Telecommunications Carrier For
Purposes of Participation in Mobility Fund Auctions
, WC Docket No. 09-197, WT Docket No. 10-208, Protective
Order, 28 FCC Rcd 318 (Wireless Telecom. Bur. and Wireline Comp. Bur. 2013).
30 See generally Second Amended NTUA Wireless Petition.
31 See id. at 1, 40-42.
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requirements for ETC designation.32 NTUA Wireless also states that it will: (1) offer the services
designated for support by the Commission pursuant to section 254(c) of the Act; (2) offer the supported
services using its own facilities or a combination of its own and other facilities; and (3) advertise the
availability of the supported services and associated charges using media of general distribution.33

III.

DISCUSSION

14.
We find that NTUA Wireless, a facilities-based provider offering service on Tribal lands,
has satisfied the Commission’s requirements to be designated as an ETC on the Navajo Nation pursuant
to the terms of this Order.34 We therefore conditionally designate NTUA Wireless as an ETC for those
areas on the Navajo Nation in which NTUA Wireless becomes authorized to receive support in Tribal
Mobility Fund Phase I. In areas where this designation becomes effective pursuant to the Tribal Mobility
Fund, NTUA Wireless will be required to provide Lifeline services and satisfy other ETC obligations.
Finally, we otherwise designate NTUA Wireless as a limited ETC eligible to receive Lifeline-only
support on the Navajo Nation should NTUA Wireless not receive support in Tribal Mobility Fund Phase
I. NTUA Wireless’s ETC designation is conditioned on its compliance with the Commission’s rules and
the representations and commitments made in its petition.

A.

Commission Authority to Perform the ETC Designation

15.
NTUA Wireless’s petition seeks ETC designation to serve the entire Navajo Nation,
including the exterior boundaries of the Navajo Nation, Eastern Navajo Agency and the island chapters of
To’hajilee, Alamo, Ramah, and Jeddito.35 NTUA Wireless contends that the Commission has jurisdiction
because it is a Tribally-owned carrier subject to the jurisdiction of the Navajo Nation, and because states,
including Arizona, Utah, and New Mexico do not have jurisdiction over a Tribally-owned carrier
providing service to the Navajo Nation.36
16.
Inherent Tribal sovereignty, guarded by treaties, federal law, executive orders, and
numerous court decisions, dictates that the government of the Navajo Nation exercises authority over the
Tribal commercial activities on its land.37 The Navajo Nation Telecommunications Regulatory


32 Id. at 10.
33 Id. at 10-15.
34 See Appendix for a list of the service areas in which NTUA Wireless will provide Lifeline services.
35 See NTUA Wireless March 2011 Petition at 17 n.30, 20-21, Exhs. D-E; Ex Parte Letter from Seth T. Lucia,
Counsel to NTUA Wireless, to Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary, Federal Communications Commission, WC Docket
No. 09-197, at 1-2, Attach. 1, Exh. A (filed Jan. 15, 2014) (clarifying NTUA Wireless’s requested designation area
and filing a letter of non-opposition from Hopi Telecommunications, Inc.) (NTUA Wireless Jan. 15, 2014 Ex Parte
Letter); see also NTUA Wireless Reply Comments at 6; NNTRC Comments at 7, Attach. 2-5; NNTRC Reply
Comments at Exh. B at 3; NTUA Wireless Petition Correction. The request excludes the Hopi Indian Reservation,
which is located entirely within the boundaries of the Navajo Indian Reservation. See NTUA Wireless Jan. 15, 2014
Ex Parte Letter at Attach. 1, Exh. A; see also Second Amended NTUA Wireless Petition at 39-40, Exh. E; Ex Parte
Letter from Seth T. Lucia, Counsel to NTUA Wireless, to Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary, Federal Communications
Commission, WC Docket No. 09-197, at 5 (filed March 19, 2013) (NTUA Wireless March 19, 2013 Ex Parte
Letter).
36 See NTUA Wireless March 2011 Petition at 1-14; see also Second Amended NTUA Wireless Petition at 8-10;
NTUA Wireless Reply Comments at 2-4.
37 See generally Treaty of Fort Sumner with the Navajo Tribe, June 1, 1868, 15 stat. 667. See also, e.g., The Indian
Financing Act of 1974
, 25 U.S.C. § 1451 (1974); The Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act of
1975
, 25 U.S.C. § 450 (1975); The Indian Civil Rights Act of 1968, 25 U.S.C. § 1301 (1968); White Mountain
Apache Tribe v. Bracker
, 448 U.S. 136, 142 (1980); New Mexico v. Mescalero Apache Tribe, 462 U.S. 324, 334
(1983); Twelfth Report and Order, 15 FCC Rcd 12208; NTUA Wireless March 2011 Petition at 9-11; NNTRC
Comments at 2-6; Tribal Policy Statement, 16 FCC Rcd at 4080.
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Commission (NNTRC) was established by the Navajo Nation with authority to assert jurisdiction over
matters of the telecommunications industry and services on the Navajo Nation.38 Additionally, the
Navajo Tribal Utility Authority (NTUA) is a governmental non-profit enterprise established and Tribally-
owned by the Navajo Nation for the purpose of promoting expansion of utilities on the Navajo Nation,
including telecommunications services.39 NTUA Wireless is Navajo owned and submits to the
jurisdiction over its operations by the NNTRC.40 As such, NTUA Wireless is subject to the laws and
jurisdiction of the Navajo Nation.41 Therefore, we find that NTUA Wireless is a Tribally-owned
commercial mobile radio service provider subject to the laws and jurisdiction of the Tribal authority of
the Navajo Nation. Further, the Commission has previously exercised jurisdiction to designate Tribally-
owned carriers as ETCs in these states.42 Moreover, no state commission contested the authority of the
Commission to consider NTUA Wireless’s ETC designation petition.43


38 See NNTRC Comments at 2-5; NNTRC Reply Comments at 1-2, Exh. B.
39 See About the NTUA, Navajo Tribal Utility Authority, available at http://www.ntua.com/ (last visited Feb. 11,
2014); see also NTUA Wireless March 2011 Petition at 5-7; Second Amended NTUA Wireless Petition at 5 n.11;
NTUA Wireless March 19, 2013 Ex Parte Letter at 2-3; NTUA Wireless Jan. 15, 2014 Ex Parte Letter at Attach. 2
at 4-7 (Overview of NTUA and Commnet Wireless, LLC Joint Venture, Presentation to FCC Tribal Liaison Office,
Jan. 4, 2011).
40 See Ex Parte Comments of NNTRC, WC Docket 09-197 (filed Jan. 14, 2014) (attaching a Certificate of Eligibility
by the Navajo Nation Business Regulatory Department deeming NTUA Wireless a Navajo owned business under
Navajo Law and, based on the majority interest held by NTUA, a Navajo Enterprise); see also NTUA Wireless
March 2011 Petition at 1-3, 9-11; Second Amended NTUA Wireless Petition at 1, 5, 8-10; NTUA Wireless Reply
Comments at 1-3. See also generally NTUA Wireless March 19, 2013 Ex Parte Letter; NNTRC Comments at 6-7,
Attach. at 1-2; NNTRC Reply Comments at 1-2, Exh. B.
41 See NTUA Wireless March 19, 2013 Ex Parte Letter; NTUA Wireless Reply Comments at 1.
42 See Designation of Hopi Telecommunications, Inc. as an Eligible Telecommunications Carrier for the Hopi
Reservation
, CC Docket No. 96-45, Memorandum and Order, 22 FCC Rcd 1866 (2007); Designation of Fort
Mojave Telecommunications, Inc., Gila River Telecommunications, Inc., San Carlos Apache Telecommunications
Utility, Inc., and Tohono O’Odham Utility Authority as Eligible Telecommunications Carriers Pursuant to Section
214 (e)(6) of the Communications Act
, AAD/USB File No. 98-28, Memorandum Opinion and Order, 13 FCC Rcd
4547 (1998). But see Improving Communications Services for Native Nations, CG Docket No. 11-41, Notice of
Inquiry, 26 FCC Rcd 2672, 2680 para. 12 n.46 (2011) (Native Nations NOI) (stating that Mescalero Apache
Telecommunications, Inc. (MATI), a Tribally-owned entity of the Mescalero Tribe, received its ETC designation
from the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission (NMPRC) upon its petition to, and submission to, the
jurisdiction of the NMPRC); see also, e.g., Letter from Jaime Flores, Operations Manager, MATI, to Susan
Oberlander, Telecommunications Bureau, NMPRC, NMPRC Case No. 03-00198-UT, Doc. No. 1011235 (Aug. 12,
2004) (requesting notification from NMPRC to FCC of ETC eligibility status).
43 NNTRC Reply Comments at 2, Exh. B. See Telecommunications Carriers Eligible for Universal Service
Support; Standing Rock Telecommunications, Inc. Petition for Designation as an Eligible Telecommunications
Carrier; Petition of Standing Rock Telecommunications, Inc. to Redefine Rural Service Areas
, WC Docket No. 09-
197, Memorandum Opinion and Order, 25 FCC Rcd 12388, 12393, para. 14 (Wireline Comp. Bur. 2010) (“Neither
state commission contested the authority of the Commission to consider Standing Rock’s ETC designation
petition”); see also Telecommunications Carriers Eligible for Universal Service Support; Standing Rock
Telecommunications, Inc. Petition for Desingation as an Eligible Telecommunications Carrier; Petition of Standing
Rock Telecommunications, Inc. to Redefine Rural Service Areas; Petition for Reconsideration of Standing Rock
Telecommunications, Inc.’s Designation as an Eligible Telecommunications Carrier on the Standing Rock Sioux
Reservation
, WC Docket No. 09-197, Memorandum Opinion and Order on Reconsideration, 26 FCC Rcd 9160,
9163, para. 10 n.27 (2011) (“No party argues that either the North Dakota Commission or the South Dakota Public
Utilities Commission has jurisdiction to designate Standing Rock, a Tribally owned, Tribally operated carrier that
seeks to serve its own reservation as an ETC”).
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17.
Accordingly, we conclude that the Arizona, New Mexico, and Utah state commissions
lack jurisdiction to consider NTUA Wireless’s ETC designation petition, and that we may consider the
petition for ETC designation on the merits. We conclude that we may, and should, exercise our
jurisdiction to consider NTUA Wireless’s petition for ETC designation.

B.

Designated Service Area

18.
First, we conditionally designate NTUA Wireless as an ETC on the Navajo Nation in
those areas in which NTUA Wireless becomes authorized to receive support in Tribal Mobility Fund
Phase I.44 The Commission provided in the USF/ICC Transformation Order that a party must be an ETC
to be eligible to compete for support available in Mobility Fund, of which Tribal Mobility Fund Phase I is
a part.45 The Commission further provided that a party might meet this eligibility requirement with an
ETC designation that was conditioned upon the receipt of Mobility Fund support.46 In other words, the
Commission would accept as sufficient for participation in the competitive bidding for Tribal Mobility
Fund Phase I support an ETC designation that is conditioned upon the party becoming authorized to
receive Tribal Mobility Fund Phase I support as a result of the bidding.
19.
Depending upon the outcome of Auction 902, NTUA Wireless might become authorized
for Tribal Mobility Fund Phase I support in only a portion of a rural telephone company study area.47 The
terms of section 214(e)(5) of the Act require that an ETC’s service area conform to the study area of any
rural telephone company within that area.48 The Bureaus, however, recently issued an Order forbearing
from application of the conformance requirement with respect to petitions for conditional designation for
purposes of participating in Tribal Mobility Fund Phase I.49 Accordingly, NTUA Wireless’s ETC service
area may be limited to the area in which it receives support, in the event that NTUA Wireless becomes
authorized to receive support in only a portion of a relevant rural telephone company study area.
20.
Next, we designate NTUA Wireless as a limited ETC eligible to receive Lifeline-only
support on the Navajo Nation should NTUA Wireless not receive support in Tribal Mobility Fund Phase
I. NTUA Wireless seeks designation as an ETC, eligible only for Lifeline support, throughout its licensed


44 We note that NTUA Wireless identifies wire centers in its petition. See Second Amended NTUA Wireless
Petition at Exh. E. Tribal Mobility Fund Phase I support, however, will be authorized based on census blocks.
Tribal Mobility Fund Phase I Auction Rescheduled for December 19, 2013; Notice and Filing Requirements and
Other Procedures for Auction 902
, AU Docket No. 13-53, Public Notice, 28 FCC Rcd 11628, 11633, para. 12
(Wireless Telecom. Bur. and Wireline Comp. Bur. 2013). Accordingly, NTUA Wireless’s final Tribal Mobility
Fund I service area will be defined by reference to census blocks, rather than by wire centers; in those areas of the
Navajo Nation in which NTUA Wireless does not become authorized to receive support in Tribal Mobility Fund
Phase I, it is authorized, pursuant to this Order, to offer Lifeline to qualified consumers in the wire centers listed in
the Appendix.
45 47 C.F.R. § 54.1003(a); see USF/ICC Transformation Order, 26 FCC Rcd at 17798-99, 17809, paras. 389, 392,
439.
46 47 C.F.R. § 54.1003(a); see USF/ICC Transformation Order, 26 FCC Rcd at 17799, para. 391 n.665.
47 See 47 U.S.C. § 153(44) (defining “rural telephone company”).
48 47 U.S.C. § 214(e)(5); see also 47 C.F.R. § 54.207(b).
49 Petition of NTUA Wireless, LLC for Designation as an Eligible Telecommunications Carrier Pursuant to Section
214(e)(6) of the Communications Act of 1934, as Amended; Universal Service Reform – Mobility Fund,
WC Docket
No. 09-197, WT Docket No. 10-208, Order, 28 FCC Rcd 16407 (Wireline Comp. Bur. and Wireless Telecom. Bur.
rel. Dec. 4, 2013). The Commission previously adopted a limited forbearance from those provisions with respect to
ETC designations conditioned on receipt of support in Auction 901, the Mobility Fund Phase I auction. Connect
America Fund et al.
, WC Docket No. 10-90 et al., Second Report and Order, 27 FCC Rcd 7856 (2012). See also
Frontier Comments (opposing the redefinition request in NTUA Wireless’s March 2011 Petition). Because the
Commission has forborne from the service area redefinition process, we find it is unnecessary to address Frontier’s
comments.
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service areas on the Navajo Nation in which it does not become authorized to receive Tribal Mobility
Fund Phase I support.50 NTUA Wireless has provided a detailed description of the relevant geographic
area by specifying in the NTUA Wireless Petition wire centers within which it may seek support. 51 We
conclude that a Lifeline only service area designated by these means meets the Commission’s
requirement.

C.

Eligibility Requirements

21.
Offering the Services Designated for Support. An applicant seeking ETC designation
must certify that it offers or will offer all of the services designated for support by the Commission
pursuant to section 254(c) of the Act.52 NTUA Wireless has established through the required
certifications and related filings that it will offer the services supported by the federal universal service
support mechanisms.53
22.
With respect to areas in which it will be a Lifeline-only ETC, NTUA Wireless has
demonstrated through its filings and certifications that it will offer upon designation as a limited ETC the
voice telephony services supported by the Lifeline program.54 NTUA Wireless states that it will provide
the services and functionalities enumerated in section 54.101(a) of the Commission’s rules throughout its
licensed service areas.55
23.
Offering the Supported Services Using a Carrier’s Own Facilities. An applicant seeking
ETC designation must certify that, upon designation as an ETC, it will offer the supported service using
either its own facilities or a combination of its own facilities and resale of another carrier’s services.56
NTUA Wireless has certified that it offers or will offer the supported services using its own facilities or a
combination of its own and other facilities.57 NTUA Wireless states that it will offer the supported
services using “its own facilities and resale or roaming if necessary.”58 NTUA Wireless states it is a
facilities-based wireless telecommunications carrier with its own switching, trunking, cellular sites and
network equipment.59 We find NTUA Wireless’s showing to be sufficient.
24.
Advertising Supported Services. An applicant seeking ETC designation must advertise
the availability of the supported services and the charges thereof using media of general distribution and
provide a description of how it will do so.60 NTUA Wireless has committed to advertise the availability


50 The Commission has similarly forborne from the service area redefinition requirements for Lifeline-only ETCs.
See Lifeline Service Area Redefinition Forbearance Order.
51 Second Amended NTUA Wireless Petition at Exh. E.
52 See 47 U.S.C. § 214(e)(1)(A); Section 214(e)(6) Public Notice, 12 FCC Rcd at 22948.
53 Second Amended NTUA Wireless Petition at 11-15, Exh. A.
54 See id. at 11, Exh. A.
55 See Second Amended NTUA Wireless Petition at Exh. A. Voice telephony services include: (i) voice grade
access to the public switched telephone network, (ii) local usage, (iii) access to emergency services and (iv) toll
limitation for qualifying Low-Income Consumers, as set forth in 47 C.F.R. § 54.101. In the Lifeline Reform Order,
the Commission adopted rules providing that toll limitation service is no longer necessary for any Lifeline service
that does not distinguish between toll and non-toll calls in the pricing of service. See Lifeline Reform Order, 27
FCC Rcd at 6679, para. 49.
56 Second Amended NTUA Wireless Petition at 11.
57 Id.; see 47 U.S.C § 214(e)(1)(A); 47 C.F.R. § 54.201(d)(1).
58 Second Amended NTUA Wireless Petition at 11.
59 Id. at 11, 17.
60 See 47 U.S.C. § 214(e)(1)(B); Section 214(e)(6) Public Notice, 12 FCC Rcd at 22949.
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of the supported services.61 Consistent with the requirements of section 214(e)(1)(B), NTUA Wireless
has committed to advertise the availability of the supported services and the related charges using the best
means available to reach the population in its service area, thereby meeting the requirement of “using
media of general distribution.”62 NTUA Wireless has also committed to advertising and promoting the
availability of Lifeline services in a manner reasonably designed to reach those likely to qualify for
Lifeline.63
25.
To increase accountability within the program and to target support where it is needed
most, the Commission has adopted rules requiring ETCs to explain in their marketing material that
Lifeline service is a government benefit, that the individual must be eligible to receive the benefit and that
the consumer may receive no more than one benefit at a time from the program.64 NTUA Wireless has
indicated its commitment to comply with these Commission rules regarding marketing of Lifeline
service.65

26.
Anti-Drug Abuse Act Certification. An applicant for ETC designation must provide a
certification that neither it nor any party to the application is subject to denial of federal benefits pursuant
to the Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1988.66 NTUA Wireless provided a certification consistent with the
requirements of the Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1988.67 NTUA Wireless’s certification satisfies the
requirements of the Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1988, as codified in sections 1.2001–1.2003 of the
Commission’s rules.
27.
Compliance with Applicable Service Requirements. An applicant seeking ETC
designation must certify that it will comply with all service requirements applicable to the support it
receives.68 NTUA Wireless has established through the required certifications and related filings that it
meets the other requirements for ETC eligibility. NTUA Wireless has certified that it will comply with
the service requirements applicable to the support that it receives.69 Moreover, in conjunction with its
request for designation in areas in which it may become authorized to receive Tribal Mobility Fund Phase
I support, NTUA Wireless submitted a five-year plan containing the required information.70 Our
determination that NTUA Wireless has met these requirements takes into account the fact that, in the
event that NTUA Wireless becomes authorized to receive support in Tribal Mobility Fund Phase I, it must
provide information to the Commission regarding its project plans to meet the Tribal Mobility Fund Phase
I service requirements as part of its post-auction application for support. Further, NTUA Wireless will
have to certify compliance with all requirements for receipt of Tribal Mobility Fund Phase I support prior
to requesting the disbursement of any such support.71 Should NTUA Wireless become authorized to
receive Tribal Mobility Fund Phase I support, NTUA Wireless will be required to report certain
information to the Commission, the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC), and relevant
State or Tribal authorities for the area in which it is designated as an ETC pursuant to section 54.1009 of


61 See Second Amended NTUA Wireless Petition at 14-15.
62 47 U.S.C. § 214(e)(1)(B); see Second Amended NTUA Wireless Petition at 14-15.
63 See Second Amended NTUA Wireless Petition at 14-15.
64 See Lifeline Reform Order, 27 FCC Rcd at 6776-77, paras. 274-77; 47 C.F.R. § 54.405.
65 See Second Amended NTUA Wireless Petition at 21-25.
66 See Section 214(e)(6) Public Notice, 12 FCC Rcd at 22949 (citing 47 C.F.R. § 1.2002(a); 21 U.S.C. § 862).
67 See Second Amended NTUA Wireless Petition at 46, Exh. G.
68 See 47 C.F.R. § 54.202(a)(1)(i).
69 See Second Amended NTUA Wireless Petition at 45.
70 NTUA Wireless March 2011 Petition at Exh. C.
71 47 U.S.C. § 254(e); 47 C.F.R. § 54.1008(e); see also Second Amended NTUA Wireless Petition at 45.
10

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the Commission’s rules.72 In addition, NTUA Wireless has demonstrated its commitment to comply with
the Commission’s Lifeline rules, and specifically to comply with the rules regarding consumer enrollment
and certification of eligibility.73 NTUA Wireless will also be required to report certain information to the
Commission, USAC, and relevant State or Tribal authorities for the area in which it is designated as an
ETC pursuant to section 54.422 of the Commission’s rules.74
28.
Ability to Remain Functional in Emergency Situations. An applicant seeking ETC
designation must demonstrate its ability to remain functional in emergency situations.75 NTUA Wireless
states that it has the ability to remain functional in emergency situations and has back-up power sufficient
to ensure functionality in the designated service area without an external power source, is able to re-route
traffic around damaged facilities, and is capable of managing traffic spikes resulting from emergency
situations.76 We find that NTUA Wireless has demonstrated its ability to remain function in emergency
situations.
29.
Satisfaction of Applicable Consumer Protection and Service Quality Standards. An
applicant seeking ETC designation must demonstrate that it will satisfy applicable consumer protection
and service quality standards.77 In particular, “[a] commitment by wireless applicants to comply with the
Cellular Telecommunications and Internet Association's Consumer Code for Wireless Service will satisfy
this requirement,” i.e., the final requirement of the preceding sentence.78 NTUA Wireless has committed
to providing applicable consumer protection and service quality standards by complying with the CTIA
Consumer Code for Wireless Service.79 We find that reliance on NTUA Wireless’s commitments to meet
these requirements is reasonable and consistent with the public interest and the Act.
30.
Financial and Technical Capability. An applicant for ETC designation must demonstrate
that it is financially and technically capable of providing Lifeline supported services.80 NTUA Wireless
states that it is owned by the Navajo Tribal Utility Authority and Commnet, a subsidiary of Atlantic Tele-
Network Inc. (ATNI).81 The Navajo Tribal Utility Authority has provided utility services to the Navajo
Reservation since 1959 and ATNI provides Lifeline services in 6 states.82 Additionally, NTUA Wireless
certifies that it is financially and technically qualified to provide broadband services meeting the
Commission’s requirements.83


72 47 C.F.R. § 54.1009(c).
73 See Second Amended NTUA Wireless Petition at 21-33 (explaining how it will implement rules regarding
certification of eligible consumers and re-certification, and providing an overview of employee training for the
Lifeline program) and Exh. D (providing sample Lifeline certification forms); see also 47 C.F.R. § 54.410 (setting
forth the Commission’s rules on subscriber eligibility determination and certification); Lifeline Reform Order, 27
FCC Rcd at 6895, App. C (setting forth certification requirements for Lifeline subscribers).
74 47 C.F.R. § 54.422.
75 See 47 C.F.R. § 54.202(a)(2).
76 See Second Amended NTUA Wireless Petition at 17.
77 See 47 C.F.R. § 54.202(a)(3).
78 Id. The Cellular Telecommunications and Internet Association is now known as CTIA-The Wireless Association.
We use its former name in this Order because it appears in the text of 47 C.F.R. § 54.202.
79 See Second Amended NTUA Wireless Petition at 18.
80 See 47 C.F.R. § 54.202(a)(4); see also Lifeline Reform Order, 27 FCC Rcd at 6818, para. 387.
81 See Second Amended NTUA Wireless Petition at 18.
82 Id.
83 Id.
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31.
Information Regarding the Terms and Conditions of Lifeline Plans. An applicant for
ETC designation must submit information regarding the terms and conditions of any voice telephony
plans it offer to Lifeline subscribers.84 Consistent with compliance with this requirement, NTUA
Wireless has submitted information concerning it proposed service offers.85

D.

Public Interest Analysis

32.
Prior to designating an ETC, we must also determine whether such a designation is in the
public interest.86 As discussed in more detail, we conclude that NTUA Wireless’s participation in
universal service programs would be in the public interest and would provide numerous benefits to
consumers. At the same time, we also condition the designation as a provider of Lifeline services on
NTUA Wireless’s compliance with the representations and commitments made in its petition as well as
on the Commission’s Lifeline rules.
33.
The Navajo Nation is the largest Tribally-governed territory in the United States,
comprised of over 26,000 square miles in rural and remote lands of northeastern Arizona, northwestern
New Mexico, and southeastern Utah.87 Approximately sixty percent of Navajo citizens, or approximately
180,000 people, live on the Reservation – a density of about 7 persons per square mile.88 Navajo citizens
often face extreme hardship and isolation, living far from towns and city centers and lacking access to
many modern-day necessities.89 For example, despite its continuing efforts to create a rural addressing
system, the Navajo Nation still contains many areas, homes, chapter houses, and other dwellings that lack
formal addresses.90 This contributes to difficulties in obtaining services like U.S. Postal Service delivery
and other federal government funded assistance programs. It also creates difficulties in implementing
important emergency systems, such as 911 and E-911.91 These limitations even further contribute to the
health and safety concerns for Navajo citizens living in these lands.92
34.
NTUA Wireless states that it intends, in the event that it obtains Tribal Mobility Fund
Phase I funding in an area, to bring improved coverage and cost-effective wireless and broadband services
to unserved and underserved lands of the Navajo Nation.93 Further, NTUA Wireless states that it intends
to employ Navajo citizens and that it will provide all of its customers with access to emergency services


84 See 47 C.F.R. § 54.202(a)(5).
85 See Second Amended NTUA Wireless Petition at 19, Exh. B.
86 See 47 U.S.C. § 214(e)(6); 47 C.F.R. § 54.202(b).
87 Second Amended NTUA Wireless Petition at 7; NNTRC Comments at 1-2; see also Letter from Ben Shelly,
President, The Navajo Nation, to Geoffrey Blackwell, Chief, Office of Native Affairs and Policy, Consumer and
Governmental Affairs Bureau, Federal Communications Commission, WC Docket Nos. 03-109 and 11-42, CC
Docket No. 96-45, at 1 (dated March 17, 2011) (March 17 President Shelly Letter); NNTRC Comments at 1.
88 March 17 President Shelly Letter at 2.
89 Id. at 1-2.
90 Id. In the Lifeline Reform Order, the Commission noted that the record indicated that residential addresses are
frequently non-existent on Tribal lands and imposing an address verification requirement for Tribal land residence
would be unduly cumbersome. The Commission therefore concluded that consumer self-certification is sufficient
to meet the residency requirement for Tribal lands Lifeline support. See Lifeline Reform Order, 27 FCC Rcd at
6728, para. 166.
91 Id.
92 Id.; see also NTUA Wireless March 2011 Petition at Exh. A (Letter of Support from Navajo Nation President Ben
Shelly).
93 Second Amended NTUA Wireless Petition at 2, 42.
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that are vital to those living in remote rural communities.94 NTUA Wireless also asserts that it is uniquely
situated to meet the needs of the Navajo Nation because of its familiarity with the Navajo Nation and with
the difficulties its consumers face living on the Navajo Nation.95
35.
We conclude that NTUA Wireless’s participation in universal service programs would
provide a variety of public interest benefits to consumers. Tribal Mobility Fund Phase I funding would
enable NTUA Wireless, a facilities-based carrier, to construct the facilities that will provide these wireless
services that may not otherwise exist on the territory.96 Additionally, we agree that universal service
support will help provide increased consumer choice, affordability, and improved quality of service for
mobile voice and current or next generation broadband access on the Navajo Nation.97 The Commission
has previously recognized that Tribal lands often experience particularly low levels of subscribership
because of the very high cost of service, inadequate telecommunications infrastructure, and a lack of
competitive service providers.98 We agree that NTUA Wireless, because of its relationship to the Navajo
Nation, may be particularly well-suited to reaching low-income consumers and other residents of the
Navajo Nation and could provide an additional option for the provision of telecommunications services.
36.
We further find that the designation of NTUA Wireless as an ETC has the support of the
Navajo Nation and would provide additional public interest benefits, such as much-needed emergency
services and employment opportunities to the residents of the Navajo Nation. The mobility of NTUA
Wireless’s service across the entire Navajo Nation will mitigate the health and safety risks associated with
living and working in a remote and rural location, where consumers must often drive significant distances
for work, school, medical attention, or other needs.99 Additionally, access to wireless communications
services will assist the Navajo Nation and law enforcement to ensure public safety during severe weather
conditions or natural disasters.100 Finally, the NNTRC enacted a resolution concluding that ETC
designation for NTUA Wireless is in the interest of the Navajo People,101 and the Navajo Nation’s
President has filed supporting statements explaining the need and urging the granting of the petition.102
37.
For these reasons, we find that it is consistent with the public interest, convenience, and
necessity to conditionally designate NTUA Wireless as an ETC, eligible to receive Tribal Mobility Fund
Phase I support, on the lands identified herein.


94 See id. at 6, 13, 17, 43; NTUA Wireless March 2011 Petition at 23-25; see also NNTRC Reply Comments at Exh.
B at 4.
95 See Second Amended NTUA Wireless Petition at 2-3, 7, 43-45; NTUA Wireless March 2011 Petition at 25-26.
96 See Second Amended NTUA Wireless Petition at 19-20, 42-45, Exh. F (supporting letter from Navajo Nation
President Ben Shelly); NTUA Wireless March 2011 Petition at 15, 17-18.
97 See NTUA Wireless March 2011 Petition at 19-20; Second Amended NTUA Wireless Petition at 19, 42-45, Exh.
F (supporting letter from Navajo Nation President Ben Shelly). We note that this Order in no way pre-judges
whether any particular proposed service offering by NTUA Wireless meets the requirements of the Commission’s
rules.
98 Twelfth Report and Order, 15 FCC Rcd at 12220, para. 20; see also Federal Communications Commission,
Connecting America: The National Broadband Plan at 152 (rel. Mar. 16, 2010), available at
http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DOC-296935A1.pdf (stating that “[m]any Tribal communities
face significant obstacles to the deployment of broadband infrastructure”).
99 See Second Amended NTUA Wireless Petition at Exh. F (supporting letter from President Ben Shelly to FCC
Chairman Julius Genachowski).
100 Id.
101 NNTRC Reply Comments at 5-6, Exh. B.
102 See Second Amended NTUA Wireless Petition at Exh. F (supporting letter from President Ben Shelly to FCC
Chairman Julius Genachowski); see also March 17 President Shelly Letter.
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38.
Additionally, in order to promote public safety, and safeguard against waste, fraud and
abuse in the Lifeline program, we also conclude it is necessary to require NTUA Wireless to comply with
certain conditions. Specifically, its ETC designation is conditioned on NTUA Wireless’s compliance
with the representations and commitments made by NTUA Wireless in its petition and the Commission’s
rules pertaining to the Lifeline program, including those adopted by the Commission in the Lifeline
Reform Order
.103 Subject to these conditions, we find that designating NTUA Wireless as an ETC
eligible to receive Lifeline support is in the public interest.104
39.
We conclude that conditionally designating NTUA Wireless as an ETC, subject to the
receipt of Tribal Mobility Fund Phase I support, and as a limited ETC for only Lifeline support, furthers
the goals of universal service. Based on the facts presented, we find that this designation will serve the
public interest by providing citizens of the Navajo Nation with critically needed services tailored to their
needs and interests.

E.

Regulatory Oversight

40.
Under section 254(e) of the Act, NTUA Wireless is required to use the specific universal
service support it receives “only for the provision, maintenance, and upgrading of facilities and services
for which the support is intended.”105
41.
In the event that NTUA Wireless becomes authorized to receive support in Tribal
Mobility Fund Phase I, it will have to certify compliance with this requirement and all other requirements
for receipt of Tribal Mobility Fund Phase I support, prior to requesting the disbursement of any such
support.106 In addition, if it becomes authorized to receive Tribal Mobility Fund Phase I support, NTUA
Wireless must report certain information to the Commission, USAC, and relevant State or Tribal
authorities for the area in which it is designated as an ETC pursuant to section 54.1009 of the
Commission’s rules.107 We find that reliance on NTUA Wireless’s commitments to meet these
requirements is reasonable and consistent with the public interest and the Act.108 We conclude that
fulfillment of these additional reporting requirements will further the Commission’s goal of ensuring that
NTUA Wireless satisfies its obligation under section 214(e) of the Act to provide supported services
throughout its designated service area.
42.
An ETC receiving Lifeline support uses that support as intended when it reduces the price
of its telecommunications services by the amount of the support for the eligible consumer.109
Additionally, in providing services pursuant to the ETC designations granted herein, NTUA Wireless
must comply with the measures described in its petition and the Commission’s rules.
43.
Finally, we note that the Commission may institute an inquiry on its own motion to
examine NTUA Wireless’s records and documentation to ensure that the universal service support it


103 See generally Lifeline Reform Order.
104 Our finding here applies to both the conditional designation as an ETC eligible for Tribal Mobility Fund support
and to its designation as an ETC eligible to receive only Lifeline support.
105 47 U.S.C. § 254(e). Because NTUA Wireless is not eligible to receive federal universal service high-cost
support, it is not required to file reports and certifications pursuant to section 54.313 of the Commission’s rules, 47
C.F.R. § 54.313.
106 47 U.S.C. § 254(e); 47 C.F.R. § 54.1008(e); see also Second Amended NTUA Wireless Petition at 45.
107 47 C.F.R. § 54.1009(c).
108 See generally Second Amended NTUA Wireless Petition.
109 See Petition of TracFone Wireless, Inc. for Forbearance from 47 U.S.C. § 214(e)(1)(A) and 47 C.F.R. §
54.201(i),
CC Docket No. 96-45, Order, 20 FCC Rcd 15095, 15105-06, para. 26 (2005).
14

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receives is being used for the purpose for which it was intended.110 NTUA Wireless is required to provide
such records and documentation to the Commission or USAC upon request. We further emphasize that,
if NTUA Wireless fails to fulfill the requirements of the Act, the Commission’s rules, or the terms of this
order after it begins receiving universal service support, the Commission may exercise its authority to
revoke the ETC designation.111 The Commission may also assess forfeiture penalties for violations of
Commission rules and orders.112

IV.

ORDERING CLAUSES

44.
Accordingly, IT IS ORDERED that, pursuant to the authority contained in section
214(e)(6) of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, 47 U.S.C. § 214(e)(6), and the authority
delegated in sections 0.91, 0.131, 0.291, and 0.331 of the Commission’s rules, 47 C.F.R. §§ 0.91, 0.131,
0.291, 0.331, NTUA WIRELESS, LLC, IS CONDITIONALLY DESIGNATED AN ELIGIBLE
TELECOMMUNICATIONS CARRIER on the NAVAJO NATION, contingent upon NTUA Wireless
becoming authorized to receive Tribal Mobility Fund Phase I support, and limited to those areas in which
it becomes so authorized.
45.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED, pursuant to section 54.722(a) of the Commission’s rules,
47 C.F.R. § 54.722(a), that NTUA WIRELESS, LLC, IS DESIGNATED AN ELIGIBLE
TELECOMMUNICATIONS CARRIER eligible only for Lifeline support for those portions of the
NAVAJO NATION in which it does not become authorized to receive Tribal Mobility Fund Phase I
support and as listed in the Appendix, to the extent described in this Order and subject to the conditions
set forth herein.
46.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that a copy of this Order SHALL BE TRANSMITTED to
the Office of the President and Vice President of the Navajo Nation, the Navajo Nation
Telecommunications Regulatory Commission, and the Universal Service Administrative Company.


110 47 U.S.C. §§ 220, 403.
111 See Federal-State Joint Board on Universal Service; Western Wireless Corp. Petition for Preemption of an
Order of the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission
, CC Docket No. 96-45, Declaratory Ruling, 15 FCC Rcd
15168, 15174, para. 15 (2000); see also 47 U.S.C. § 254(e).
112 See 47 U.S.C. § 503(b).
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47.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that pursuant to section 1.102 of the Commission’s rules,
47 C.F.R. § 1.102, this Order SHALL BE EFFECTIVE upon release.
FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
Julie A. Veach
Chief
Wireline Competition Bureau
Roger C. Sherman
Acting Chief
Wireless Telecommunications Bureau
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APPENDIX

NTUA Wireless Lifeline Only ETC Designated Service Area-

Navajo Nation

COMPANY NAME

CLLI CODE

Arizona Telephone Company
MRCNAZXC
Beehive Telephone Company
DNRPUTXC
Century Tel of Southwest, Inc.
PNHLNMXC
Citizens Telecom Co. of Wht Mtns, Inc.
STJHAZXB
Navajo Communications Company
BLMSAZXF
Hopi Telecommunications Inc. AZ
KMCNAZXC
Navajo Communications Company
CHNLAZXC
Navajo Communications Company
DLKNAZXC
Navajo Communications Company
DNHSAZXC
Navajo Communications Company
FTDFAZXC
Navajo Communications Company
GANDAZXC
Navajo Communications Company
GSWDAZXC
Navajo Communications Company
KABTAZXC
Navajo Communications Company
KIVGAZXC
Navajo Communications Company
KYNTAZXC
Navajo Communications Company
LCHEAZXC
Navajo Communications Company
LEPPAZXC
Navajo Communications Company
LKCHAZXC
Navajo Communications Company
MNFRAZXC
Navajo Communications Company
PINNAZXC
Navajo Communications Company
RDVYAZXC
Navajo Communications Company
RHRKAZXC
Navajo Communications Company
RKPNAZXC
Navajo Communications Company
SHNTAZXC
Navajo Communications Company
STMCAZXE
Navajo Communications Company
TBCYAZXC
Navajo Communications Company
TNPSAZXR
Navajo Communications Company
TOYIAZXC
Navajo Communications Company
TSILAZXC
Navajo Communications Company
WDRNAZXC
Navajo Communications Company
CRPNNMXC
Navajo Communications Company
NAVJNMXC
Navajo Communications Company
NSCHNMXC
Navajo Communications Company
NWCMNMXC
Navajo Communications Company
PBPONMXC
17

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COMPANY NAME

CLLI CODE

Navajo Communications Company
SANSNMXC
Navajo Communications Company
SHRKNMXC
Navajo Communications Company
TBNTNMXC
Navajo Communications Company
TDLNNNXC
Navajo Communications Company
THTCNMXC
Navajo Communications Company
TRNSNMXC
Navajo Communications Company
TWLKNMXC
Navajo Communications Company
HLCHUTXC
Navajo Communications Company
MNCKUTXC
Navajo Communications Company
MNVYUTXC
QWEST CORPORATION
FLGSAZMA
QWEST CORPORATION
GLLPNMFW
QWEST CORPORATION
PAGEAZMA
SACRED WIND
FRTNNMMA
SACRED WIND
FRTNNMWE
SACRED WIND
GLLPNMEA
SACRED WIND
GLLPNMMA
Table Top Telephone Company
SNDRAZXC
Western New Mexico Telephone
MGDNNMXC
18

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