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E&C Democrats Express Concerns Over 2.5 GHz Proceeding

Nov 19, 2019
Press Release
FCC is Putting Tribes and Tribal Organizations at a Disadvantage

Washington, D.C. – Five Energy and Commerce Committee Democrats sent a letter today to Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Ajit Pai raising concerns about the shortened  notice and filing window for spectrum license applications in the 2.5 GHz proceeding, which will prevent many tribes and tribal organizations from taking advantage of the priority filing window.  The Members also believe the FCC’s request that the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) expedite its Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) approval of the order may further disadvantage eligible tribes and tribal organizations. 

The letter was signed by Chairman Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ), Communications and Technology Subcommittee Chairman Mike Doyle (D-PA), and Reps. Ben Ray Luján (D-NM), Tom O’Halleran (D-AZ), and Raul Ruiz (D-CA).

The Members believe the 90-day notice period and 60-day priority application filing window are too short, since tribal governments have collaborative processes for decision-making that often take longer than the period the FCC has allocated.  Additionally, they are concerned the FCC’s request to expedite the PRA process will instead delay the provision of service in tribal lands because it will only give tribes and tribal organizations 30 days, 60 days fewer than usual, to engage in the OMB process, possibly preventing some tribes and tribal organizations from participating at all.

“If the FCC sincerely wants to provide tribes and tribal organizations with this opportunity, then it must give them a meaningful opportunity to participate,” the five members wrote.  “You made it clear that providing a priority window for tribes and tribal organizations was an important step toward helping these communities, and now we urge you to follow through on that promise by giving them enough time to take advantage of it.”

To read the letter, click HERE.