|Federal Communications Commission
445 12th Street, S.W.
Washington, D.C. 20554
|News media information 202 / 418-0500
Fax-On-Demand 202 / 418-2830
This is an unofficial announcement of Commission action. Release of the full text of a Commission order constitutes official action. See MCI v. FCC. 515 F 2d 385 (D.C. Circ 1974).
FCC TO EXPLORE WAYS TO EXTEND TERRESTRIAL AND SATELLITE WIRELESS SERVICES TO INDIVIDUALS LIVING ON TRIBAL LANDS
In a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking adopted today, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) began exploring a number of possible terrestrial
and satellite wireless policy initiatives to promote greater access to telecommunications
services for individuals living on tribal lands.|
In the Telecommunications Act of 1996, Congress directed the FCC to help ensure that all Americans have access to affordable telecommunications services. The relatively low incomes of most individuals living on tribal lands and the rural environment of most tribal lands have contributed to extremely low telephone penetration rates. Because telephone service is a necessity in our modern society, this lack of access puts the Indian community at a tremendous disadvantage.
In today's Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, the FCC seeks comment on ways wireless and satellite technology can be used to provide basic telephone service and other telecommunications services to tribal lands, particularly in remote areas where wireless alternatives could be significantly less expensive than wireline service. The FCC also seeks comment on how to provide greater incentives for terrestrial and satellite wireless carriers to extend service to tribal lands. In addition, the FCC seeks comment on whether to extend any terrestrial or satellite wireless initiatives adopted in this proceeding to individuals living in other unserved areas.
In a separate action today, the FCC also adopted a Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in the Universal Service proceeding (CC Docket No. 96-45) seeking comment on possible cost support mechanisms to increase the availability of telecommunications service in tribal, insular, and other underserved areas.
Action by the Commission August 5, 1999, by Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (FCC 99-205). Chairman Kennard, Commissioners Ness, Furchtgott-Roth, Powell and Tristani with Commissioner Tristani issuing a separate statement
News Media Contact: Meribeth McCarrick at (202) 418-0654; TTY at (202) 418-7233; or e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
Wireless Telecommunications Bureau contact: Joel Taubenblatt at (202) 418- 1513; TTY at (202) 418-7233; or e-mail email@example.com
WT Docket No. 99-266, WT Report No. 99-23