[Federal Register Volume 76, Number 65 (Tuesday, April 5, 2011)]
[Pages 18759-18761]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2011-7961]



[CG Docket No. 11-41; FCC 11-30]

Improving Communications Services for Native Nations

AGENCY: Federal Communications Commission.

ACTION: Notice.


SUMMARY: In this document, the Commission seeks comment on a wide range 
of issues concerning how its rules and policies could be modified to 
provide greater economic, market entry, communication adoption 
opportunities, and incentives for Native Nations. The Commission also 
seeks government-to-government consultation with Native Nations, input 
from inter-Tribal government associations and Native representative 
organizations, and input from the public on the best ways to move 
forward. The Commission is committed to ensuring that all Americans 
have access to emerging services and technologies, with Native Nations 
being at the forefront of the Commission's efforts.

DATES: Comments are due on or before May 20, 2011, and reply comments 
due on or before July 5, 2011.

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ADDRESSES: You may submit comments, identified by [CG Docket No. 11-41 
and/or FCC 11-30], by any of the following methods:
     Electronic Filers: Comments may be filed electronically 
using the Internet by accessing the Commission's Electronic Comment 
Filing System (ECFS) http://fjallfoss.fcc.gov/ecfs2/ or the Federal 
eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Filers should follow 
the instructions provided on the Web site for submitting comments. For 
ECFS filers, in completing the transmittal screen, filers should 
include their full name, U.S. Postal Service mailing address, and the 
applicable docket or rulemaking number, which in this instance is CG 
Docket No. 11-41.
     Parties may also submit an electronic comment by Internet 
e-mail. To get filing instructions, filers should send an e-mail to 
[email protected], and include the following words in the body of the 
message, ``get form .'' A sample form and 
directions will be sent in response.
     Paper Filers: Parties who choose to file by paper must 
file an original and four copies of each filing. Filings can be sent by 
hand or messenger delivery, by commercial overnight courier, or by 
first-class or overnight U.S. Postal Service mail. All filings must be 
addressed to the Commission's Secretary, Office of the Secretary, 
Federal Communications Commission.
     All hand-delivered or messenger-delivered paper filings 
for the Commission's Secretary must be delivered to FCC Headquarters at 
445 12th Street, SW., Room TW-A325, Washington, DC 20554. All hand 
deliveries must be held together with rubber bands or fasteners. Any 
envelopes must be disposed of before entering the building. The filing 
hours are 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.
     Commercial overnight mail (other than U.S. Postal Service 
Express Mail and Priority Mail) must be sent to 9300 East Hampton 
Drive, Capitol Heights, MD 20743. U.S. Postal Service first-class, 
Express, and Priority mail must be addressed to 445 12th Street, SW., 
Washington, DC 20554.
    In addition, parties must serve one copy of each pleading with the 
Commission's duplicating contractor, Best Copy and Printing, Inc., 445 
12th Street, SW., Room CY-B402, Washington, DC 20554, or via email to 
[email protected]. Parties must also send a courtesy copy of their filing 
to Rod Flowers, Office of Native Affairs and Policy, Federal 
Communications Commission, 445 12th Street, SW., Room 4-C487, 
Washington, DC 20554.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Cynthia Bryant, Office of Native 
Affairs and Policy at (202) 418-8164 (voice), (202) 418-0431 (TTY), or 
e-mail at [email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: This is a summary of the Commission's 
Improving Communications Services to Native Nations, Notice of Inquiry 
(Native Nations NOI), document FCC 11-30, adopted on March 3, 2011, and 
released on March 4, 2011, in CG Docket No. 11-41.
    The full text of document FCC 11-30 and copies of any subsequently 
filed documents in this matter will be available for public inspection 
and copying via ECFS, and during regular business hours at the FCC 
Reference Information Center, Portals II, 445 12th Street, SW., Room 
CY-A257, Washington, DC 20554. They may also be purchased from the 
Commission's duplicating contractor, Best Copy and Printing, Inc., 
Portals II, 445 12th Street, SW., Room CY-B402, Washington, DC 20554, 
telephone: (800) 378-3160, fax: (202) 488-5563, or Internet: http://
www.bcpiweb.com. Document FCC 11-30 can also be downloaded in Word or 
Portable Document Format (PDF) at: http://www.fcc.gov or http://
    Pursuant to 47 CFR 1.415 and 1.419, interested parties may file 
comments and reply comments on or before the dates indicated in the 
DATES section of this document. Comments and reply comments must 
include a short and concise summary of the substantive discussion and 
questions raised in the document FCC 11-30. The Commission further 
directs all interested parties to include the name of the filing party 
and the date of the filing on each page of their comments and reply 
comments. The Commission strongly encourages that parties track the 
organization set forth in document FCC 11-30 in order to facilitate its 
internal review process. Comments and reply comments must otherwise 
comply with 47 CFR 1.48 and all other applicable sections of the 
Commission's rules.
    Pursuant to 47 CFR 1.1200 et seq., this matter shall be treated as 
a ``permit-but-disclose'' proceeding in accordance with the 
Commission's ex parte rules. Persons making oral ex parte presentations 
are reminded that memoranda summarizing the presentations must contain 
summaries of the substance of the presentation and not merely a listing 
of the subjects discussed. More than a one or two sentence description 
of the views and arguments presented is generally required. Other rules 
pertaining to oral and written presentations are set forth in 47 CFR 
    People with Disabilities: To request materials in accessible 
formats for people with disabilities (Braille, large print, electronic 
files, audio format), send an e-mail to [email protected] or call the 
Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau at (202) 418-0530 (voice) or 
(202) 418-0432 (TTY).


    The Native Nations NOI seeks consultation and comment on 11 
specific categories of communications issues affecting Native Nations 
and Americans living on Tribal lands--the lands of federally recognized 
American Indian Tribes and Alaska Native Villages--as well as Hawaiian 
Home Lands. The first five sections of the document seek comment on 
issues that cut broadly across the many different substantive areas 
within the Commission's regulatory mission. With a better understanding 
of these critical issues, the Commission can more effectively work with 
Native Nations to break down barriers and find genuine solutions. For 
example, the NOI seeks comment on whether a Native Nations priority, 
analogous to the one presently found in the Commission's rules for 
radio broadcast licensing, should be adopted more broadly to make it 
easier for Native Nations to provide other communications services to 
their own communities.
    The Native Nations NOI also seeks comment on the basic tools that 
Native Nations need in order to build sustainable business and 
deployment models to address the significant communications 
infrastructure needs, market challenges, and demand aggregation 
requirements specific to Tribal lands. Further, recognizing the 
uniqueness of Tribal lands, the document seeks comment on the 
challenges and barriers faced by Native Nations in achieving broadband 
adoption and utilization. The Native Nations NOI also seeks comment on 
whether the Commission should adopt a single definition of Tribal lands 
for all communications-related regulation and, if so, precisely what 
that definition should encompass. The other issues on which the Native 
Nations NOI seeks comment delve into specific substantive areas of the 
Commission's existing rules. For example, the Native Nations NOI seeks 
comment on the Universal Service Fund's eligible telecommunications 
carrier (ETC) designation process on Tribal lands, including the nature 
and extent of those designations and requirements for the consultative 
process with Native Nations. The Native

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Nations NOI also examines public safety and interoperability challenges 
on Tribal lands, including the widespread lack of 911 and E-911 
    The Native Nations NOI also seeks comment on how to improve the 
Commission's processes and Best Practices--pursuant to Section 106 of 
the National Historic Preservation Act--for the protection of Native 
sacred sites and consultation with Native Nations and Native Hawaiian 
Organizations in the review of communications tower sitings. In 
addition, the Native Nations NOI seeks comment on ways to make 
satellite-based services available for Native Nations, by addressing 
issues of cost, equipment, and market-entry points for Native Nations.
    The Native Nations NOI seeks comment on the extent to which persons 
with disabilities living on Tribal lands experience barriers in using 
communications services and advanced technologies, and asks how the 
Commission can address those barriers. The Native Nations NOI also asks 
how the Commission can best structure a productive and efficient 
nation-to-nation consultation process unique to the mission of the 
Commission and the needs of Native Nations, recognizing that many 
consultations with the Federal government are occurring on many 
different and inter-related issues at any given time.
    Finally, recognizing that the Native Nations NOI may not cover all 
of the communications challenges facing Native Nations and their 
communities, the document invites comment on other matters involved in 
the provision of communications services to Native communities that may 
warrant future Commission action.

Ordering Clauses

    Pursuant to sections 1, 2, 4(i), 4(j), 7(a), 11, 214, 225, 254, 
255, 301, 303(c), 303(f), 303(g), 303(r), 303(y), 308, 332, 403, 706, 
and 716 of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, 47 U.S.C. 151, 
152, 154(i), 154(j), 157(a), 161, 214, 225, 254, 255, 301, 303(c), 
303(f), 303(g), 303(r), 303(y), 308, 332, 404, 706, and 716, and 
section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act, 16 U.S.C. 470f, 
document FCC 11-30 is adopted.

Federal Communications Commission.
Bulah P. Wheeler,
Deputy Manager.
[FR Doc. 2011-7961 Filed 4-4-11; 8:45 am]