Broadband

The Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) faces a critical juncture. In a letter sent out earlier this week, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) estimates that funding for the ACP will only last until April 2024. Without any additional funding, the FCC will have to begin taking steps to end the program. The FCC is requesting $6 billion from Congress to continue the ACP through the end of 2024. Lawmakers in Congress have also introduced a bipartisan and bicameral measure to help extend the ACP that would allocate $7 billion for the program from unused Treasury funding. If the ACP were to end, millions would lose their access to the internet and their ability to participate in modern life. Losing the ACP also undermines the goals of other programs like the $42.45 BEAD Program and the overall effort to close the digital divide.
At this time, the United States government will likely shut down due to Congress not coming together to pass needed legislation through a continuing resolution or the required appropriations bills.  Given this situation, each federal agency has created agency contingency plans.  As Tribal Government relationships with the Federal Government are intertwined, there will be many impacts on Tribal communities.  One area of impact is communications and telecommunications.  The shutdown will affect all agencies and programs in some capacity. This alert addresses programs administered by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA).
Indigenous Digital Sovereignty is the umbrella term that overarches both Indigenous Network Sovereignty and Indigenous Data Sovereignty.  Indigenous Digital Sovereignty is both the information and the physical means by which that information transfers, governed by a community's policies and codes that control the data, infrastructure, and networks. 

Despite a lack of access, higher prices for broadband and often non-existent infrastructure, leaders in some Tribal communities have developed a vision and built self-sufficient networks and community technology centers to connect and strengthen their communities. Indian Country is finding a myriad of ways to cross the Digital Divide.

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