Improving Communications Services for Native Nations by Promoting Greater Utilization of Spectrum over Tribal Lands
Status: Accepting public comment
Docket NumberWT Docket No. 11-40
On March 3, 2011, the Federal Communications Commission adopted a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) on ways to expand the efficient use of spectrum over Tribal lands so as to improve access to mobile wireless communications, which will provide consumers with more choices on how they communicate, share information and get their news.
The NPRM seeks comment on:
- A proposal to expand the current broadcast Tribal Priority to create opportunities for access to wireless radio services licenses not yet assigned.
- A Native Nations originated proposal to create a secondary market negotiation process under which Tribes could work with incumbent wireless licensees to bargain in good faith for access to spectrum over unserved or underserved Tribal lands.
- A Tribal proposal to employ an innovative process to utilize spectrum lying fallow under which either the licensee or the Native Nation could build out facilities to provide service.
- A proposal to provide incentives for licensees to deploy service to Tribal lands by enabling them to use that deployment to help satisfy the construction requirements for licenses.
- A proposal to improve the effectiveness of the Tribal lands bidding credit program, for example, by extending the current 3-year construction deadline and the current 180-day deadline to obtain necessary Native Nation government certification.
A. Tribal Lands and Wireless Radio Services Subject to Proposals
1. Tribal Lands
2. Wireless Radio Services Subject to Tribal Lands Programs
B. Definitions for Proposals on Tribal Access to Spectrum
1. Eligibility and Legal Authority for Tribal Access to Spectrum Opportunities
2. Defining Unserved or Underserved Tribal Lands
3. Defining Geographic Area for Which Tribal Access to Spectrum Opportunities May be Available
C. Tribal Licensing Priority for Unassigned Wireless Radio Services Licenses
1. Process and Licensing Framework for Awarding Tribal Priority
D. Tribal Proposals for Processes to Provide Access to Spectrum Licensed to Third Parties
1. Good Faith Negotiations
2. Build-or-Divest Process
E. Tribal Lands Construction Safe Harbor
F. Potential Modification of Tribal Lands Bidding Credit Program