For Immediate Release
February 2, 2022
Manu Tupper or Mike Inacay (Schatz) at firstname.lastname@example.org
SCHATZ: NEW FCC ACTIONS WILL HELP EXPAND HIGH-SPEED INTERNET ACCESS ACROSS TRIBAL LANDS
FCC, Institute of Museum and Library Services Work Together to Bring Connectivity to Tribal Libraries
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i), chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, released the below statement on recent actions by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) to expand broadband connectivity to Tribal libraries. The agencies’ actions follow a committee roundtable discussion Schatz convened last month on closing the digital divide in Native communities.
“Native communities face unique challenges in accessing high-speed internet and bridging the digital divide,” said Chairman Schatz. “The FCC’s recent E-Rate order and partnership with IMLS will help Native communities get faster, more reliable internet services.”
The E-Rate program was established in 1996 as a universal service support mechanism to ensure that schools and libraries can obtain affordable broadband service. But E-Rate program rules long limited Tribal libraries’ participation in the program. The FCC order paves the way for Tribal libraries to apply for the E-Rate program application filing window that opened on January 12, 2022 and closes on March 22, 2022.
Information about how Tribal libraries can apply for E-Rate support can be found here. Information about IMLS’s efforts to support Tribal libraries can be found here.