Broadband Blog Posts

Arizona State University is committed to serving its Indigenous students, especially in uncertain times, such as these. We know that Indigenous students are less likely than their peers to have adequate internet access at home, which makes online learning extremely difficult if not impossible. Earlier this year, we published a policy brief that outlined the challenges students face and listed public policy decisions that can bring about change for the good. As an institution of higher education, ASU has a responsibility to be socially embedded and transform society, aiming to effectuate positive change for the communities and peoples it serves. 

Fortunately, this map of free public Wi-Fi hotspots shows...

Today, sixteen advocacy groups and indigenous organizations submitted a letter to Congress requesting an extension of the Federal Communications Commission’s 2.5 GHz Broadband Rural Tribal Priority Window.

“The unprecedented impact of the global crisis on this particular proceeding warrants a deadline extension,” wrote the advocacy groups. 

The 2.5 GHz Tribal Priority Window gives tribes an opportunity to acquire spectrum licenses for broadband internet before the licenses go to auction. The current deadline for applications is August 3, 2020; the groups are requesting that Congress intervene and require the FCC to issue an extension of the window through February 1, 2021.

The letter was directed to Rep. Frank Pallone, Jr. and Rep. Greg...

The Arizona Department of Education has formed a new task force to address the digital divide and the technology needs of schools. Technology inequalities existed long before the COVID-19 pandemic, but the rapid transition to online school revealed the deep disparities between people with and without adequate broadband internet access. 

“Access to technology and broadband internet is an issue of educational equity,” said State Superintendent of Public Instruction Kathy Hoffman. 

“The group will work to find innovative solutions to address the extreme digital divide across Arizona,” according to the press release. It will also look for ways to expand public-private partnerships and support state Education Technology and Computer Science Standards. 

The Technology...

Indian Country continues to battle the negative effects COVID-19 has had on tribal economies as well as the health of tribal citizens. ASU’s Construction in Indian Country (CIIC) hosted a Virtual Town Hall June 19, which brought tribal leaders together with scholars and industry experts to discuss the current situation and how Indian Country can rebound from the pandemic. 

“Our role at ASU is to not only help fulfill the immediate needs of these communities but also to think about, 'What does recovery and renewal look like as we come out of our current state?'” said Jacob Moore, associate vice president for tribal relations at ASU. Moore said ASU has a...

The Tribal Priority Window for tribes to access licenses for 2.5GHz broadband spectrum over their lands closes AUGUST 3

If your tribe needs assistance, contact our office as soon as possible!

The Tribal Priority Window is a rare opportunity for tribal communities to acquire licenses at no cost for broadband spectrum in the 2.5 GHz band. For background information on tribal spectrum access, read our policy overview here: Spectrum Airwaves: A Natural Resource Tribes Must Leverage.

To check for available spectrum over your tribe’s land and to learn more about the upcoming Tribal Priority Window, visit our friends at MuralNet.

More information is available on the Federal Communications Commission...

In the fight against COVID-19, tribal nations face many of the same health, education, and economic public policy challenges as non-Native state and local governments. However, they are further hindered by an obstacle course of red tape and administrative misapplications from the federal government that prevents tribes from fully utilizing their sovereign authority and hamper their pandemic defense and recovery strategies. This is an area that some U.S. representatives feel deserves the full attention of Congress and the Administration. 

The House Natural Resources Committee Democrats hosted a virtual roundtable discussion this morning in which members of The House of Representatives listened to leading experts from Indian Country about how federal relief...

A new bill announced today by the co-chairs of the Congressional Native American Caucus would give tribes emergency authority of broadband spectrum over their lands, in an effort to greatly increase internet access for tribal nations grappling with COVID-19 pandemic response. 

“Broadband has been an issue…in Indian Country, for a very long time,” Haaland said in an interview with The NM Political Report. “The pandemic has pulled back the blanket and the sun is illuminating these disparities.” She added that internet access should be viewed as a basic necessity, like home electricity. 

“Tribal Nations have been hit hard during the COVID-19 pandemic, and the lack of robust broadband networks has only...