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News Release

United States Senate Committee on Indian Affairs

Senator John Hoeven (R-ND), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, convened an oversight hearing titled “GAO Report on Tribal Access to Spectrum: Promoting Communications Services in Indian Country" on September 18.

“Having the ability to readily access broadband furthers economic development, educational achievement, and public health and safety. Unfortunately, tribal populations have lower levels of broadband access relative to other areas of the United States,” said Hoeven. “We are encouraged by the results of the Government Accountability Office’s report and look forward to working with the Federal Communications Commission to improve its training, technical assistance, and consultation with tribal governments and organizations on spectrum-related matters.”

In his opening remarks and during questioning, Hoeven examined the Federal Communications Commission’s response to the Government Accountability Office’s report, Tribal Broadband: FCC Should Undertake Efforts to Better Promote Tribal Access to Spectrum, which identify ways the Federal Communications Commission can remove regulatory obstacles to streamline telecommunications buildout in Indian country.

The Committee received testimony from:

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  • Mr. Andrew Von Ah, Director of Physical Infrastructure Issues, U.S. Government Accountability Office, Washington, D.C.
  • Mr. Don Stockdale, Chief, Wireless Telecommunications Bureau, Federal Communications Commission, Washington, D.C. 
  • Ms. Belinda Nelson, Chairperson, Gila River Telecommunications, Inc., Chandler, Arizona 
  • Ms. Kimball Sekaquaptewa, Chief Technology Director, Santa Fe Indian School, Santa Fe, New Mexico

For the Government Accountability Office’s report, click here.

For complete testimony and video of the hearing, click here.

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