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Oversight Hearing on "Federal Communications Commission’s rule on the Universal Service Fund and its impact on American Indians and Alaska Natives"
Friday, June 8, 2012 11:00 AM
Subcommittee on Indian and Alaska Native Affairs
1324 Longworth House Office Building


SUBCOMMITTEE ON INDIAN AND ALASKA NATIVE AFFAIRS
1324 Longworth House Office Building
Friday, June 8, 2012
11:00 a.m.

OVERSIGHT HEARING ON:

  • "Federal Communications Commission’s rule on the Universal Service Fund and its impact on American Indians and Alaska Natives"

OPENING STATEMENT:

The Honorable Don Young
Chairman

WITNESSES AND TESTIMONY:

Panel I

Geoffrey Blackwell
Chief
Office of Native Affairs & Policy
Federal Communications Commission

The Honorable Jonathan Adelstein
Administrator
Rural Utilities Service

Panel II

The Honorable Alfred LaPaz
Councilman
Mescalero Apache Tribe

Nelson N. Angapak, Sr.
Senior Vice President
Alaska Federation of Natives
(Truth in Testimony Form)

Bill Bryant
President
National Tribal Telecommunications Association
(Truth in Testimony Form)

Shirley Bloomfield
Chief Executive Officer
National Telecommunications Cooperative Association
(Truth in Testimony Form)

Steve Merriam
Chief Executive Officer and General Manager
Arctic Slope Telephone Association Cooperative, Inc.
(Truth in Testimony Form)

Albert Hee
President
Sandwich Isles Communications, Inc.
(Truth in Testimony Form)

BACKGROUND

According to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), approximately 19 million Americans or 6.1% of the population are without broadband service. However, nearly 1.1 million Native Americans or 29% of American Indians who reside on Tribal lands do not have access to broadband. There is a need to bridge the so-called "digital-divide" both in rural areas and tribal communities. The FCC has attempted to address this issue by revising the Universal Service Fund. The hearing will be an opportunity to hear from Tribes and Alaska Natives about the Federal Communications Commission’s rule on the Universal Service Fund for Tribal lands and the importance of expanded broadband and telecommunication access in Indian and Alaska Native communities.

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