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.
Non-Tribal entities should use this link to contact the ONAP team on any matter pertaining to the FCC's work with Native nations./p>
Engage with the FCC
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.
Proceedings of Tribal Interest