Tribal Nations have a rare – and brief – opportunity to apply for broadband internet access available through the Federal Communications Commission, according to Irene Flannery, director of AMERIND Critical Infrastructure.
The Rural Tribal Priority Window to apply for EBS spectrum access opened on Feb. 3, 2020, and closes on Aug.3, 2020. An Education Broadband Service (EBS) spectrum license will allow a tribe to build and operate wireless networks with speeds up to 2.5 GHz. The EBS spectrum is suitable for mobile coverage and fixed point-to-point uses, such as business and home internet connectivity.
The Tribal Priority Window allows tribes to skip the process of competing and paying for a license at an FCC auction. Instead, any federally recognized tribe or Alaska Native village, consortia of federally recognized tribes and/or Native villages, or Native-controlled entity is eligible to apply.