GAO Turns To Tribal Spectrum

Acting on a request from the leadership of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee, the Government Accountability Office is starting a review of the challenges facing Indian tribes in getting access to wireless spectrum, a GAO spokesman told MT. Lawmakers made the original request back in 2016, seeking information on an FCC bidding credit program meant to improve broadband deployment on tribal land. They also requested an analysis of the National Broadband Map, noting that tribes say it doesn’t always accurately reflect internet availability on their lands. “Wireless technologies are essential to economic development, public safety, education, and health care, but Tribal communities remain critically underserved,” said Sen. Tom Udall (D-N.M.), who joined the request when he became vice chairman of the panel.

Source: Politico Morning Tech

Senator Tom Udall makes some points that are important to rural communities that do not have access to broadband. “Wireless technologies are essential to economic development, public safety, education, and healthcare…” It is not only tribal land that has problems with the National Broadband Map, there are significant problems in the Sierra as well. The maps are based on advertised coverage, not the actual coverage that exists in the real world.

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