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  • To: comments-fellowship-application-process-review-14jun16@xxxxxxxxx
  • From: Loris Taylor <loristaylor1@xxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Thu, 28 Jul 2016 09:09:14 -0700


Native Public Media (“NPM”) respectfully submits these comments in response to 
the ICANN Fellowship Program Application Process Review.  NPM believes that the 
participation of the 567 American Indian Tribes and Alaska Native Villages 
across the United States in decision making processes is critical to the 
telecommunications and communications advancement of Native Nations.  The ICANN 
Fellowship Program provides an opportunity for Native Americans to engage in 
ICANN’s multi-stakeholder model designed to include representation from 
underserved and resource lean communities. 

NPM is a nonprofit organization which encourages native people across the 
United States to participate actively in all forms of media.  It is an 
established leader in communications policymaking, advocating for development 
that encourages the expansion and strengthening of native choices through media 
platforms that are community based, local and democratic. 

NPM has consistently sought to present native perspectives at the national 
level to address, in part, the challenges recognized by the United States 
Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) in its 2000 Report entitled, In the 
Matter of Improving Communication Services for Native Nations by Promoting 
Greater Utilization of Spectrum Over Tribal Lands[1] 
<applewebdata://47B0EF82-8BFF-4FB1-B60A-492A8CE7394D#_ftn1>:  “This inability 
to fully and fairly participate in the digital age presents serious impediments 
to Tribal nations’ efforts to preserve their cultures and build their internal 
structures for self-governance, economic opportunity, health, education, public 
safety and welfare.”

In 2009, NPM recommendations describing concrete ways the FCC could address the 
media and digital divides pervasive across Indian Country were included in the 
National Broadband Plan.  In 2010, NPM and the National Congress of American 
Indians (NCAI) were successful in persuading the FCC to establish the FCC 
Office of Native Affairs and Policy to serve as a central national office to 
consult and work directly with federally recognized Tribes and Tribal entities 
on Telecommunications and Communications policies. 

No one disputes the critical need for broadband infrastructure to provide fast 
efficient internet access to all Americans, including Tribal members.  Indeed, 
in recent years, the broadband industry has invested billions of dollars in 
broadband networks across the country.[2] 
<applewebdata://47B0EF82-8BFF-4FB1-B60A-492A8CE7394D#_ftn2>  Unfortunately, 
they do not reach Indian Country.  As of 2015, 63 percent of residents living 
on Tribal lands lack internet service at the speeds provided to more than 90 
percent of Americans living in urban areas.[3] 
The reason for this situation is simple, but difficult to overcome:  
traditional carriers decline to serve Tribal lands that occupy some of the 
remotest parts of America, because they will not recover the cost of building 
broadband infrastructure in those areas.  Market forces simply do not work on 
Tribal lands with respect to infrastructure deployment.  Hence, public 
policymakers like the FCC must use federal funds to incent carriers to build on 
Tribal lands.  The FCC noted in its landmark USF/ICC Transformation Order[4] 
<applewebdata://47B0EF82-8BFF-4FB1-B60A-492A8CE7394D#_ftn4>:  “Greater 
financial support may be necessary in order to ensure the availability of 
broadband on Tribal lands.”  Since this report was issued, and since the FCC 
issued its National Broadband Plan[5] 
<applewebdata://47B0EF82-8BFF-4FB1-B60A-492A8CE7394D#_ftn5> in 2010, the 
measures taken by the FCC have not produced the desired effect of increased 
broadband on Tribal lands.  

These past efforts show the critical need to consistently solicit comments from 
Tribal governments and Tribal entities and to engage with them for suggestions 
as to how to practically serve Tribal lands in closing the digital divide.  
Self-governance starts from the ground up and it has been the desire of Native 
Americans to engage more fully in determining their own telecommunications 
destiny and to be engaged more robustly at the policymaking tables, both 
nationally and internationally.

The ICANN Fellowship Program provides an opportunity for Native Americans, 
First Peoples and more globally, indigenous peoples to participate in a forum 
designed to represent the diversity of the global community and to build 
capacity regarding a platform that has universally changed the world.  

        NPM urges ICANN to institutionalize the Tribal Fellowship Pilot Program 
as a part of the overall ICANN Fellowship Program.

        Thank you for the opportunity to comment.  Asquali.
DATED:  July 28, 2016


Loris Ann Taylor

Hopi Nation

President & CEO

P. O. Box 3955

Flagstaff, AZ  86003

[1] <applewebdata://47B0EF82-8BFF-4FB1-B60A-492A8CE7394D#_ftnref1> Notice of 
Proposed Rulemaking, WT Docket No. 11-40.

[2] <applewebdata://47B0EF82-8BFF-4FB1-B60A-492A8CE7394D#_ftnref2> “Promoting 
Broadband Infrastructure Investment,” July 20, 2015 Report to the Subcommittee 
on Communications and Technology in the United States House of Representatives 
Committee on Energy and Commerce.

[3] <applewebdata://47B0EF82-8BFF-4FB1-B60A-492A8CE7394D#_ftnref3> Id. p. 2.

[4] <applewebdata://47B0EF82-8BFF-4FB1-B60A-492A8CE7394D#_ftnref4> Connect 
America Fund et al., WC Docket Nos. 10-90 et al., Report and Order and Further 
Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, 26 FCC Red 17663 (2011) (USF/ICC Transformation 
Order and/or FNPRM) aff'd sub nom., In re: FCC 11-161, 753 F.3d 1015 (10th Cir. 

[5] <applewebdata://47B0EF82-8BFF-4FB1-B60A-492A8CE7394D#_ftnref5> FCC, 

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