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PN Seeking Nominations for FCC-Native Nations Broadband Task Force

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Released: March 12, 2014


Federal Communications Commission
445 12th St., S.W.

News Media Information 202 / 418-0500


Washington, D.C. 20554

TTY: 1-888-835-5322

DA 14-342
Released: March 12, 2014



The Federal Communications Commission (Commission) has long recognized that it shares a
unique trust relationship with Tribal Nations.1 It is this unique government-to-government relationship
that guides the Commission in its dealings with Tribal Nations and in the Commission’s efforts to
promote Tribal self-sufficiency and economic development. As part of these endeavors and its efforts to
ensure that the concerns of Tribal governments are considered in all relevant Commission proceedings,
the Commission created the FCC-Native Nations Broadband Task Force (Task Force).
Today, the Commission, through the Office of Native Affairs and Po licy (ONAP), acts to
reinvigorate the Task Force to ensure that it continues its vital work. Specifically, by this Public Notice,
ONAP seeks applications for open positions on the Task Force.
Since its creation in March 2011, the Task Force, composed of senior Commission staff and
elected or appointed leaders from federally-recognized Tribal governments or governmental entities, or
their designated employees, has assisted the Commission in fulfilling its commitment to increasing
broadband deployment and adoption on Tribal lands.2 The Task Force is responsible for, among other
things, assisting in developing and executing the Commission’s consultation policy, eliciting input from
Tribal governments, ensuring that Tribal concerns are considered in all Commission proceedings related
to broadband, developing additional recommendations for promoting broadband deployment and adoption
on Tribal lands, and coordinating with external entities, including other federal departments and agencies.

The Task Force has provided recommendations to the Commission on a broad range of topics,
including, but not limited to, Tribal consultation priorities, the continuing reforms to the universal service
fund (USF), the use of and policies regarding spectrum over Tribal lands, E-rate, and Lifeline and Link
Up on Tribal lands.
In reinvigorating the Task Force, the Commission seeks to fill vacancies due to attrition, increase
representation of certain regions, and balance the subject matter expertise of the Task Force. The

1 Establishing a Government-to-Government Relationship with Indian Tribes, Policy Statement, 16 FCC Rcd 4078
2 See Chairman Genachowski Names Members to the FCC-Native Nations Broadband Task Force, 26 FCC Rcd
2467 (2011); see also Statement of Policy Establishing a Government-to-Government Relationship with Indian
Tribes, 16 FCC Rcd 4078, 4080 (2000); see also Connecting America: The National Broadband Plan (rel. Mar. 16,
2010) at 184 (Recommendation 9.14) available at

Commission is particularly interested in applicants with diverse professional experience and backgrounds
in broadband, telecommunications, broadcast, and technology infrastructure deployment and adoption.
Nominations and recommitments from current Task Force members must be submitted to the
Commission no later than May 15, 2014.


Duties of Task Force Members

Task Force members must be committed to a three-year term of service, which requires
participation, either in person or by teleconference, in the meetings of the Task Force. The Task Force
meets in person twice a year, with one meeting held at the Commission in Washington, DC and the other
held in the field. The Task Force supplements these semiannual meetings with four teleconferences.
While full participation is expected, Task Force members are required to attend fifty percent (50%) of the
annual meetings, to include at least one in-person meeting, and at least two teleconferences. Attendance
in person is at the Task Force member’s own expense. Members also have an initial and continuing
obligation to disclose any interests in, or connections to, persons or entities who are or will be regulated
by, or who have interests before, the Commission.


Recommitment of Current Task Force Members

Current Task Force members who wish to recommit themselves to the Task Force must submit a
letter stating their intent to continue to serve on the Task Force, their position as an elected or appointed
leader from a federally-recognized Tribal government or governmental entity (or as a designated
employee), and a letter from their elected Tribal government official or officials expressing the Tribal
government’s support for the Task Force member’s continued membership as a Tribal representative on
the Task Force.


New Applicants

The application for appointment to the Task Force does not require a particular format; however,
it must include the following information: (1) name and position of the applicant with respect to a
particular Tribal government; (2) telephone number; (3) mailing address and/or e-mail address; (4) a brief
description of the applicant’s area of expertise and qualifications to serve on the Task Force; (5) and a
nominating letter from the relevant elected Tribal government official or officials in support of the
applicant. In the case of a person seeking to serve as a “designated employee,” the name of the elected
officer on whose behalf the employee would be acting and a copy of the officer’s designation letter is also
required. A designated employee must be on the staff of a Tribal government, and part of the
governmental process. The designated employee’s experience and qualifications should be
commensurate with the functions of the Task Force, and not ministerial, such as a professional or
administrative assistant.



The application of a new appointment to the Task Force, as well as the recommitment of an
existing member, should include the nomination of an alternate representative who can participate in the
case of the primary member’s lack of availability for a particular meeting or tasks. An alternate’s
participation will not count towards the participation of the primary member, and should the primary
member cease to serve or qualify to serve, the alternate does not become a replacement. The alternate
representative’s experience and qualifications should be commensurate with the functions of the Task
Force, and not ministerial, such as a professional or administrative assistant.


Application Submission for New Applicants and Returning Task Force Members

Applicants and Task Force members must submit the required information to the Commission no
later than May 15, 2014. The required information should be submitted via email to Robert Finley at Please electronically copy and If
submitting the required information through email is not possible, please contact Robert Finley at (202)
418-7835 (voice) or 1-800-835-5322 (TTY) or email to determine another method of delivery. If
submitting by regular mail, send to: Federal Communications Commission, Office of Native Affairs and
Policy, Attention: Robert Finley (4C-425), 445 12th St., S.W., Washington, D.C. 20554.


Expiration of Task Force Membership or Removal

In the case of an elected or an appointed Tribal representative no longer holding office in a Tribal
government, or a Tribal designated employee no longer employed by the Tribal government, the Tribal
representative must give notice to the Task Force and their seat the Task Force expires immediately with
the expiration of their elected or appointed term, or period of employment, in the case of designated
employee. Task Force members who do not attend at least one in-person meeting and participate in at
least two teleconferences will be removed from the Task Force. Members of the Task Force who fail to
disclose any interests in, or connections to, persons or entities that are or will be regulated by, or who
have interests before, the Commission, will be removed from the Task Force.


Pursuant to the “intergovernmental communication” exemption in Sec. 204(b) of the Unfunded
Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (“UMRA”), 2 U.S.C. §1534(b), the Task Force will not be subject to the
requirements or procedures set forth in the Federal Advisory Committee Act (“FACA”), 5 U.S.C. App. 2
(1988). Section 204(b) of UMRA provides an exemption from FACA for intergovernmental
communications involving meetings between Federal officials and Federal employees and “elected
officers of State, local and Tribal governments (or their designated employees with authority to act on
their behalf) acting in their official capacities.” Therefore, applicants for the Task Force must be
individuals who satisfy these requirements.
As it applies to the Task Force, because the input that Congress sought to facilitate through the
intergovernmental exemption is institutional in nature, the exemption covers Federal communications
with elected officers or their designated employees involved in the governmental process at the Tribal
level. Before the first meeting of the Task Force, those seeking nomination as a “designated employee”
should provide a letter or other documentation from the elected officer of the Tribal government for
whom the employee would be acting, advising the Commission that such employee is duly authorized to
act on such official’s behalf. Following these procedures will ensure that the Task Force may operate
with adequate flexibility and within its FACA-exempt status.


To request materials in accessible formats for people with disabilities (Braille, large print,
electronic files, audio format), send an e-mail to or call the Office of Native Affairs and
Policy at (202) 418-2930 (voice).
For further information contact: Robert Finley, Legal Advisor, Office of Native Affairs and
Policy, Federal Communications Commission, (202) 418-7835 (voice) or 1-800-835-5322 (TTY), or

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