• FCC Hosts Tribal Consultations on Rural Broadband Deployment
  • September 14, 2017 | Author: Gregory E. Kunkle
  • Law Firm: Keller and Heckman LLP - Washington Office
  • FCC Chairman Ajit Pai travelled to Arizona and Nevada last week to discuss bridging the digital divide with Arizona Governor Doug Ducey and Nevada Representative Mark Amodei (R-NV). While in Arizona, Chairman Pai also conducted a Tribal Consultation with Navajo Nation President Russell Begaye and other Native American leaders in the region. While the meetings were not open to the public nor the press, the FCC released a press release stating that the parties planned to focus on the NPRM and NOI titled Accelerating Broadband Deployment by Removing Barriers to Infrastructure Investment. In particular, the groups planned to deliberate over the proposed rules regarding the historic preservation and Tribal review process required to deploy wireless facilities. The meeting takes place after Tribal leaders filed comments in response to the NPRM and NOI, many of which disapproved of efforts to streamline the tribal review process. The Tribes suggested it would be critical to remain a part of the cultural review process to assure the lands of their ancestors are properly protected and preserved regardless of the impediments to growth this may present.