About the Office

  • The Office of Native Affairs and Policy (ONAP) was established by FCC Order in 2010 to further the Commission's efforts to bring the benefits of modern communications to all Native communities. ONAP assists the Commission in developing policies and programs to address the lack of adequate communications services on Tribal lands nationwide. ONAP plans and leads the Commission's outreach to Tribal governments and organizations, with the objective of increasing their awareness of, and participation in, Commission programs and proceedings. These efforts include disseminating information about Commission initiatives, and ensuring Native views and interests are heard in the decision-making process. ONAP is also responsible for overseeing the work of the Native Nations Communications Task Force.
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Broadband Data Collection Program and Tribal Workshops

The FCC is currently implementing new methods and systems to collect and publish nationwide broadband-availability data.  As required by the Broadband DATA Act, this initiative will include a process through which state, local and Tribal governments or entities may submit their own verified primary broadband-availability data to help the FCC validate the accuracy of the data it collects from service providers.  It will also include a separate challenge process by which consumers, state, local, and Tribal governmental entities, and other entities or individuals may submit coverage data to the FCC to challenge the accuracy of providers’ reported coverage data. 

The Broadband Data Collection webpage contains information on the FCC’s data collection efforts, including links to the latest orders, public notices, and other actions. 

The FCC will conduct additional Tribal outreach, including Tribal training workshops, as the systems and processes for the Broadband Data Collection program are developed, finalized, and launched.  Please check back as we will periodically update this web post with the latest developments and releases, including public notices and orders, information on technical assistance resources and support, and a user guide for the Broadband Data Collection system.

Recent Actions:

  • February 22, 2022 – First Deadline for Providers to File Broadband Data Announced:  The FCC released a Public Notice announcing that all facilities-based providers of fixed and mobile broadband internet access service must submit broadband availability data no later than September 1, 2022, depicting deployment data as of June 30, 2022.  The FCC plans to open the Broadband Data Collection system to begin accepting data submissions on June 30, 2022.  Unless your Tribe is itself a broadband provider, there is currently no action required on your part.  If your Tribe provides broadband services, you should now begin to take steps to ensure the Tribe is prepared for the collection when the filing window opens.
  • December 8, 2021 – Virtual Tribal Technical Assistance Workshop:  The Commission hosted a virtual Tribal workshop to provide introductory information about the Broadband Data Collection program and the tools and processes that will enable Tribes to submit verified primary broadband availability data directly to the FCC.  A recording and slide presentation from the event are available here on the “Resources” tab of the data collection webpage, and here on the FCC’s YouTube channel.

The Affordable Connectivity Program

The Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) is a long-term, $14.2 billion program that provides eligible households with a basic discount of up to $30 on the monthly cost of internet service purchased from a participating provider, and up to a $75 per month discount for eligible households on qualifying Tribal lands.  Eligible households may also receive a one-time discount of up to $100 to purchase a laptop, desktop computer, or tablet from participating providers, subject to a modest co-payment.  The ACP is limited to one monthly service discount and one device discount per household. To learn how to enroll in ACP, go to fcc.gov/acp

If you or your organization are interested in raising awareness about the ACP, you may sign up to be an ACP Outreach Partner at fcc.gov/acp, where you can also find a link to an outreach toolkit that contains materials you may download and customize to meet your needs. Questions about the ACP may be emailed to ACPinfo@fcc.gov.


Proceeding of Tribal Interest

  • Ex Parte Reform NPRM Summary

    On July 9, 2020, the Commission released an Ex Parte Reform Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (2020 NPRM).  The Commission's ex parte rules govern when and how outside parties may communicate with the Commission about pending rulemakings and other matters.  The 2020 NPRM proposed, among other things, to alter the rules governing ex parte presentations by federally recognized Indian Tribes to facilitate candid government-to-government discussions and presentations between the Commission and individual Tribes in certain circumstances.  Under the proposed rule, at the Tribe's  option, neither the topics discussed during the consultation nor the fact that a meeting or presentation occurred or the contents of such a meeting or presentation would need to be publicly disclosed; but the Commission would not be able to rely upon any information from the meeting or presentation in its decision making unless the Tribal government agrees to make the information part of the public record.

    Click here fcc.gov/ocument/updating-commissions-ex-parte-rules to obtain a copy of the 2020 NPRM.  You can also review public comments on the 2020 NPRM through the Commission's Electronic Comment Filing System (ECFS) at fcc.gov/ecfs, by searching in GC Docket No. 20-221.


Tribal Leaders Directory

The following link will take you to the Bureau of Indian Affairs' Tribal Leaders Directory website: bia.gov/tribal-leaders-directory. There you will find an electronic, map-based, interactive directory of information on each federally recognized Indian Tribe, as well as a separate Excel spreadsheet with the names and contact information of current Tribal leaders, among other information.


Request Tribal Consultation

The ONAP team welcomes opportunities to engage in consultation with federally recognized Tribes, including facilitating consultation between Tribes and other Commission Bureaus and Offices. We also welcome opportunities to engage with intertribal organizations and Tribally owned and/or operated entities. Please use the link below to contact the ONAP team.

Request Tribal Consultation

Contact Us

Send an email to the ONAP Team or call 202-418-2930.

Thursday, August 11, 2022