About the Office

The FCC’s Office of Native Affairs and Policy (ONAP) serves as Commission’s catalyst to help improve the level of broadband, telecommunications, and broadcast deployment throughout Indian country. 

Established by FCC Order in 2010 as a recommendation of the National Broadband Plan, ONAP’s mission is to “bring the benefits of a modern communications infrastructure to all Native communities by, among other things, ensuring robust government-to-government Consultation with Federally-recognized Tribal governments and other native organizations; working with Commissioners, Bureaus, and Offices, as well as with other government agencies and private organizations, to develop and implement policies for assisting native communities; and ensuring that Native concerns and voices are considered in all relevant Commission proceedings and initiatives."

The ONAP team accomplishes its mission through these primary work streams:

  • Represent the FCC in government-to-government consultation with sovereign Tribal nations.
  • Leverage our understanding of Indian Country to work with other Bureaus and Offices around the FCC to craft policies that improve deployment and bring investment to Tribal lands.
  • Conduct regional and national Tribal consultation and training workshops to help build understanding and knowledge of FCC policies which can help spur deployment on Tribal lands, partner with other Federal agencies to bring resources to support deployment, and enhance technical knowledge and skills in Indian Country.

About Telecommunications Deployment on Tribal Lands

Approximately 63 percent of Tribal land residents lack access to fixed broadband speeds of 25 Mbps download and 3 Mbps upload, as compared to only 17 percent of the U.S. population as a whole. The disparity is even higher for residents of Tribal lands in rural areas, with approximately 85 percent lacking access according to the 2015 Broadband Progress Report

 

Upcoming Event
 
Sep. 20-22, 2016

Recent Events
 
Aug. 15-17, 2016

Aug. 2-4, 2016

July 19-21, 2016

Tribal Radio Summit
Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication
Arizona State University

Spotlight

Tribal Engagement Obligation Compliance

In 2011, as part of the FCC’s USF/ICC Transformation Order, eligible telecommunications carriers serving Tribal lands and receiving Universal Service Fund support are required to annually consult with the Tribes they serve.  This consultation between Tribes and carriers should include discussion on the following topics:(1) a needs assessment and deployment planning with a focus on Tribal community anchor institutions; (2) feasibility and sustainability planning; (3) marketing services in a culturally sensitive manner; (4) rights of way processes, land use permitting, facilities siting, environmental and cultural preservation review processes; and (5) compliance with Tribal business and licensing requirements.

The FCC Office of Native Affairs and Policy is currently seeking input from Tribal nations about their experiences with carrier Tribal engagement.  Please send information on your experiences to the ONAP team.

For more information, see more specific guidance for Tribe and carriers on conducting effective Tribal engagement, please see further guidance in this Public Notice

 


Contact Us

Non-Tribal entities should use this link to contact the ONAP team on any matter pertaining to the FCC's work with Native nations.

Send an email

Request Tribal Consultation

The ONAP team welcomes opportunities to engage in Consultation with Federally recognized Tribes, intertribal organizations and other Tribally owned and/or operated entities.  We invite opportunities to be forwarded at the link, below.

Request Tribal Consultation

 

Proceedings of Tribal Interest

 

 

 

Updated: 
Thursday, September 1, 2016