Jul
31
2018

Federal Communications Commission Tribal Workshop

9:30 am – 6:00 pm EDT
Tribe's Historic Boys Dormitory, 838 Whitefeather Street, Lac du Flambeau, WI 54538...

The Federal Communications Commission (Commission) announces an upcoming workshop for Tribal governments.  The workshop will include an introduction about the mission and work of the Commission and a presentation on the process for challenging areas initially deemed ineligible for universal service funding in the Mobility Fund Phase II (MF-II) reverse auction.  There will also be presentations on other Commission proceedings and programs of Tribal interest, including overviews of the Universal Service Fund, the Tribal Radio Priority, and the Tribal Engagement Obligation.  In addition, there will be an opportunity for government-to-government consultations with Tribal leaders or their designees in a collaborative and constructive environment.

Last year, the Commission adopted rules governing the MF-II reverse auction to award universal service support for mobile wireless carriers.[1]  The Commission established a budget of $4.53 billion over ten years to support the provision of service in areas that lack adequate mobile voice and broadband coverage. The MF-II auction will include a Tribal reserve to ensure some of the support awarded in the auction is directed to Tribal lands.[2]  Geographic areas lacking unsubsidized, qualified 4G LTE service have been initially deemed “eligible areas”[3] for MF-II support; those with such service have been deemed initially “ineligible.”  Tribal, as well as state and local, governments are being given an opportunity to challenge initial ineligibility determinations, potentially increasing the areas eligible for support in the MF-II auction if their challenges are successful.[4]  The MF-II portion of the workshop will focus on the issues that affect Tribal government offices and agencies and will explain the MF-II challenge process, how to determine if a locality has been deemed ineligible for support, and how to challenge that determination and seek inclusion of the locality among the areas identified as eligible for support.

In addition, Commission staff will present information on the structure and mission of the Commission, as well as other regulations and programs affecting Tribal interests.  Topics covered will include, among others, the Universal Service Fund programs that provide phone and broadband discounts to qualifying low-income individuals, schools, libraries and rural healthcare providers, as well as the preferential treatment afforded Tribes in certain circumstances to license new radio stations to serve Tribal communities.  Commission staff will also share information on how to learn about and comment on proposed rulemakings, and on the obligation of Eligible Telecommunication Carriers to engage with the Tribes they serve on an annual basis.

The workshop will be held on July 31, 2018, at the Lac du Flambeau Reservation in Wisconsin.  A limited block of rooms is being held through July 16 at the Lake of the Torches Resort Casino.  Reservations can be made at 1-800-258-6724.

To register for the workshop, send your name, title, Tribal affiliation, and contact information to native@fcc.gov.  For workshop registration questions, please contact Carolyn Conyers, Program Advisor, Office of Native Affairs and Policy, at carolyn.conyers@fcc.gov or (202) 418-2002. Tribal governments are welcome to contact Janet Sievert, Legal Advisor, Office of Native Affairs and Policy, for additional information about the workshop at janet.sievert@fcc.gov or (202) 418-1362.

Reasonable accommodations for people with disabilities are available upon request.  Send an email to fcc504@fcc.gov or call the Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau at 202-418-0530 (voice) or 202-418-0432 (TTY). Please include a description of the accommodation you will need and tell us how to contact you.  Requests for special accommodation should be made as early as possible.  Last minute requests will be accepted but may be impossible to fill.

[1] Connect America Fund; Universal Service Reform – Mobility Fund, Order on Reconsideration and Second Report and Order, 32 FCC Rcd 6282 (2017); Connect America Fund; Universal Service Reform Mobility Fund II, Report and Order and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, 32 FCC Rcd 2152 (2017).

[2] For more information about MF-II, please see: https://www.fcc.gov/mobility-fund-phase-ii-mf-ii (FCC MF-II resource webpage) and https://www.usac.org/hc/MFII-challenge-process.aspx (USAC MF-II resource webpage).

[3] Mobility Fund Phase II Initial Eligible Areas Map, Public Notice, 33 FCC Rcd 2041 (WTB/WCB 2018).

[4] Procedures for the Mobility Fund Phase II Challenge Process, Public Notice, 33 FCC Rcd 1985 (WTB/WCB 2018).

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To register for the workshop, send your name, title, Tribal affiliation, and contact information to native@fcc.gov.

 

For workshop registration questions, please contact Carolyn Conyers, Program Advisor, Office of Native Affairs and Policy, at carolyn.conyers@fcc.gov or (202) 418-2002.

 

Tribal governments are welcome to contact Janet Sievert, Legal Advisor, Office of Native Affairs and Policy, for additional information about the workshop at janet.sievert@fcc.gov or (202) 418-1362.