Schrier Helps Tribes Secure First-Ever Licenses to Expand Internet Access

November 11, 2020 by Sean Trambley
Artwork on the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation. (Photo via its website)

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Rep. Kim Schrier, D-Wash., recently helped the Nisqually and the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation in her district fulfill a long time dream. They are two of eight tribes in the state to receive first-of-their-kind licenses for 2.5 GHz wireless broadband services. 

“Inadequate internet access is a decades-old problem that has only been exacerbated by this pandemic,” Schrier said in a written statement. “So many things we do on a day-to-day basis rely on internet access, like learning and working from home, telemedicine, and connecting with family members. 

“This important program will provide necessary tools like wireless internet to Tribal families and help bridge the digital divide. I hope the FCC continues to find opportunities to ensure even more Tribes in Washington and other communities around the country can access these essential services,” she added.

The licenses through the FCC provide for exclusive use of up to 117.5 megahertz of 2.5 GHz band spectrum that can be used by Tribes to connect their communities. This is used through unassigned radio frequencies that require a license to use. During the first application process, the Commission received over 400 applications to obtain overlay licenses to help address Tribes’ connectivity needs.

Earlier this summer, Schrier held two meetings on broadband access. She convened state broadband and Tribal leaders for a discussion about this program and the overall need for more internet access in Washington state. 

Schrier also held a roundtable with FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel on rural broadband.

Rodney Cawston, chairman of the Colville Business Council, said the ongoing coronavirus pandemic has heightened the need for broadband access on reservations and other rural communities.

“Once our license is issued the Colville Tribes will have authority to bring broadband to our underserved communities,” Cawston said. “Without access to broadband our children do not have equal access to education and our members do not have opportunities for economic development, internet access to complete employment applications, census records, voting privileges, and communication opportunities that most of our nation take for granted.”

In The News

Health

Voting

Congress

Joe Biden Signs Bill Making Juneteenth A Federal Holiday
In The News
Joe Biden Signs Bill Making Juneteenth A Federal Holiday
June 17, 2021
by Dan McCue

President Joe Biden signed legislation Thursday establishing a new federal holiday commemorating the end of slavery, saying he believes it will go down as one of the greatest honors he has as president. The holiday commemorates African Americans’ freedom from slavery, and has long been observed... Read More

FAFSA Simplification Act Delayed
Education
FAFSA Simplification Act Delayed
June 17, 2021
by Ansley Puckett

WASHINGTON - The Free Application for Federal Student Aid Simplification Act, which will implement changes to simplify the FAFSA application process, has been delayed by a year. On Friday, the Office of Federal Student Aid announced that the act will be fully implemented by the 2024-2025... Read More

Proposed Puerto Rican Statehood Scheduled for a Vote in Congress
Congress
Proposed Puerto Rican Statehood Scheduled for a Vote in Congress
June 17, 2021
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- The chances for Puerto Rico to become the 51st U.S. state never seemed brighter than during a congressional hearing Wednesday, despite opposition from top Republicans. Congress is expected to vote on a bill that proposes Puerto Rican statehood within days. It is supported by... Read More

White House, Congress Aligned on Cybersecurity Goals
Cybersecurity
White House, Congress Aligned on Cybersecurity Goals
June 16, 2021
by Victoria Turner

WASHINGTON - As Congress edges closer to putting a final infrastructure bill on President Joe Biden’s desk, it looks like lawmakers and the White House are aligned in their commitment to bolster U.S. cybersecurity through increased federal investment, focusing on prevention and utilizing public-private partnerships to... Read More

Congress Begins Investigation of Alleged Justice Dept. Abuses
Political News
Congress Begins Investigation of Alleged Justice Dept. Abuses
June 15, 2021
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- A powerful congressional committee is beginning an investigation into reports the Justice Department secretly subpoenaed information about members of Congress and journalists during the Trump administration. The committee’s chairman said he was concerned the Justice Department “used criminal investigations as a pretext to spy... Read More

Rep. Greene Apologizes for Comparing Safety Masks, Holocaust
Congress
Rep. Greene Apologizes for Comparing Safety Masks, Holocaust

WASHINGTON (AP) — Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene apologized Monday for affronting people with recent comments comparing the required wearing of safety masks in the House to the horrors of the Holocaust. "I'm truly sorry for offending people with remarks about the Holocaust," the Georgia Republican told... Read More

News From The Well
scroll top