Go to FCC.gov
FCC Logo - Return to the FCC Home Page  
  Native American Initiatives

Help | Advanced

|



Skip Universal Service Fund programs linksUniversal Service


Promoting Telecommunications Services Among Indians

The FCC expanded the Universal Service Low-Income program to address the challenge of providing telecommunications on remote tribal lands.  American Indians and Alaska Natives living on tribal lands face a number of problems regarding access to telecommunications.  These problems include high prices for basic telephone service, limited local calling areas, inadequate infrastructure, and lack of competition.  The expanded programs are:

  • Enhanced Lifeline: Provides eligible low-income consumers living on tribal lands with monthly discounts on the cost of receiving basic telephone service.  These discounts can be as much as $35 a month, compared to $10 a month for conventional Lifeline discounts.  The discount may enable low-income consumers living on tribal lands to receive telephone service for as little as $1 per month.  Additional support may be available through state Lifeline programs.
  • Enhanced Link-Up: Provides eligible low-income consumers living on tribal lands with a one-time discount on initial installation or activation of a wireline or wireless telephone for their primary residence. Eligible consumers may receive discounts of up to $100 on initial connection charges, compared to $30 under conventional Link-up.  Link-Up may not offset any costs of a wireless handset.

Carriers are required to publicize the availability of Enhanced Lifeline and Enhanced Link-Up.  In addition, the three other Universal Service programs are open to Indians and Indian businesses.  These programs are the High-Cost, Schools & Libraries, and Rural Health Care programs.

For more information, please click on:


April 2004
  • Report and Order and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking. Modifies the Commission's rules to improve the effectiveness of low-income support mechanism, which ensures that quality telecommunications services are available to low-incom consumers at just, reasonable, and affordable rates. (Dkt No. WC-03-109, Released 4/29/04) FCC 04-87 Acrobat | Word

May 2003
  • Order on Reconsideration and Order. Addresses petitions for reconsideration of the Twelfth Report and Order, which adopted rules to provide additional targeted support to low-income consumers on tribal lands, and clarifies rules regarding the qualification criteria for enhanced Lifeline and Link-Up service (Dkt No. CC-96-45, Released 5/21/03) FCC 03-115 Acrobat


October 2001
  • Order. The Federal Communications Commission released an Order that finds that the FCC, not the South Dakota PUC, has jurisdiction to designate Western Wireless an ETC for service to tribal members on the Pine Ridge Reservation. (Dkt No. CC-96-45, Released 10/5/01) FCC 01-284 Acrobat | Text

  • Order. The Federal Communications Commission released an Order that designates Western Wireless as an ETC for service to tribal members on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. (Dkt No. CC-96-45, Released 10/5/01) FCC 01-283 Acrobat | Text


January 2001
  • Order. Common Carrier Bureau releases Order granting the requests from Mescalero Apache Telecom, Inc. (Mescalero), GTE Southwest Incorporated (GTE), and Valor Telecommunications of New Mexico, LLC (Valor), for a waiver of the definition of "study area" contained in the Part 36 Appendix-Glossary of the Commission’s rules. (Dkt No. CC-96-45, Released 1/18/01) DA No. 01-129 Text | Word

  • Order. The Commission releases Order granting the request from Mescalero Apache Telecom, Inc., Petition for a waiver of Section 54.305 of the Commission's Rules.(Dkt No. CC-96-45, Released 1/18/01) FCC No. 01-13. Text | Word

  • Order. Common Carrier Bureau releases Order granting the requests from ATEAC, Inc., Alaska Telephone Company, Arctic Slope Telephone Association Cooperative, Inc., Interior Telephone Company, Inc., Mukluk Telephone Company, Inc., and United-KUC, Inc. for waiver to effectuate sale of 13 exchanges comprising 23,796 access lines in Alaska: Grants waiver of the Part 36 (universal service) freeze on study area boundaries. (Dkt No. CC-96-45, Released 1/17/01) DA No. 01-101 Text | Word

June 2000
  • FCC Takes Steps to Promote Access to Telecommunications on Tribal Lands. (Order released 06/20/2000)
    Order: Word | Acrobat



last reviewed/updated on December 01, 2008  


Skip FCC Footer and Contact InfoFederal Communications Commission
445 12th Street SW
Washington, DC 20554
More FCC Contact Information...
Phone:  1-888-CALL-FCC (1-888-225-5322)
TTY:  1-888-TELL-FCC (1-888-835-5322)
Fax:  1-866-418-0232
- Privacy Policy
- Website Policies & Notices
- Required Browser Plug-ins
- Freedom of Information Act