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



Tribal Consultations

The FCC hosted a tribal consultation on October 4th that focused on issues addressed in the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking and Notice of Inquiry entitled Accelerating Wireless Broadband Deployment by Removing Barriers to Infrastructure Investment, WT Docket No. 17-79.

Questions regarding the consultation can be directed to Carolyn Conyers, carolyn.conyers@fcc.gov, 202-418-2002.

On August 22, 2017, the Competition and Infrastructure Policy Division, Wireless Telecommunications Bureau, and the Office of Native Affairs and Policy, Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau, engaged in a dialogue with Tribal representatives addressing issues associated with the deployment of wireless technologies and compliance with the FCC's Section 106 process.  The meeting complemented the FCC's ongoing consultation with Tribal Nations regarding the issues raised in the FCC's April 2017 Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) and Notice of Inquiry (NOI) entitled Accelerating Wireless Broadband Deployment by Removing Barriers to Infrastructure Investment, WT Docket No. 17-79.  The discussion focused on questions raised in the NPRM and on how best to improve the process for Tribal participation in Section 106 review in the interest of all participants.  Participation was limited to representatives of Tribal Nations.

The FCC also hosted Tribal consulations focusing on the NPRM/NOI and, among other issues, the historic preservation and Tribal review processes currently required to deploy wireless facilities. Those consultations were held on July 20, 2017 at the Many Nations Longhouse at the University of Oregon, Eugene, on July 24, 2017 at the Broken Arrow Branch of the Tulsa City County Library, and on June 8, 2017, with FCC Chairman Pai, at Sinte Gleska University on the Rosebud Sioux Reservation.


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./p>

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


Wednesday, November 1, 2017