WASHINGTON, August 13, 2010 – The Federal Communications Commission recently established an office to better focus on communications infrastructures in tribal lands and native communities.
The Office of Native Affairs and Policy will work to promote the deployment and adoption of communications services and technologies throughout these communities, by “ensuring robust government-to-government consultation with tribal governments and increased coordination with native organizations,” according to an FCC statement.
“Tribal lands and native communities suffer unacceptably low levels of communications services, especially broadband,” said FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski. “Increasing connectivity in Native America is one of the FCC’s top priorities.”
The office will be headed by Geoffrey Blackwell, and will be part of the FCC’s Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau.
The Office of Native Affairs and Policy will handle ongoing consultation and coordination with American Indian Tribes, Alaska Native Villages, native Hawaiian organizations, and other native and tribal entities, and will be the official commission contact point for these activities. It will also engage in work with commissioners, bureaus, and offices, as well as with other government agencies, private organizations, and the communications industries, to develop and implement FCC policies regarding tribal nations and native communities.