Senator helped secure a priority window for tribes in Arizona to apply for broadband licenses
WASHINGTON – Arizona senior Senator Kyrsten Sinema applauded the Federal Communications Commission decision to grant tribal communities in Arizona broadband licenses. The licenses were awarded through a priority window that began in February thanks to Sinema’s urging, allowing tribes across Arizona the opportunity to increase their connectivity and close the digital divide.
The FCC awarded the licenses to the Colorado River Indian Tribe, Gila River Indian Community, Havasupai Tribe of the Havasupai Reservation, Hopi Tribe of Arizona, Hualapai Indian Tribe, Kaibab Band of Paiute Indians, San Carlos Apache Tribe of the San Carlos Reservation, Tohono O’odham Nation of Arizona, White Mountain Apache Tribe of the Fort Apache Reservation, Yavapai-Prescott Indian Tribe, and the Zuni Tribe of the Zuni Reservation.
“Increasing access to high-speed broadband improves tribal and rural communities’ access to health care, education, and jobs. I applaud the FCC’s announcement, and I’ll continue working to close Arizona’s digital divide,” said Sinema.
Following Sinema’s letters, the FCC announced it would open a priority window for tribal communities in Arizona to apply for licenses in the 2.5GHz band so they could have the opportunity to expand broadband deployment. The priority window marked a unique opportunity for tribes in Arizona to access allocated spectrum specifically for tribal communities.
As a strong advocate for rural broadband in the Senate Commerce Committee, Sinema introduced the bipartisan ACCESS Rural America Act that encourages private investment in rural broadband. In May 2019, Sinema applauded the Federal Communications Commission’s decision to invest in expanding broadband on the Havasupai Reservation, which provides Havasupai students access to critical educational services.