Rosen, Cortez Masto Commend Distribution of 2.5 GHZ Spectrum Licenses to Tribes to Close Digital Divide

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Jacky Rosen (D-NV), a member of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, and Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), a member of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, released the following statement applauding news that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has issued spectrum licenses through the agency’s first-of-its-kind Rural Tribal Priority Window to Tribal entities across the country, including 10 Tribes in Nevada, to help bridge the digital divide.

“As the coronavirus pandemic has amplified, far too many Tribes in Nevada and across the nation lack adequate broadband access,” said the Senators. “The closure of schools and businesses due to COVID-19 has only exacerbated this digital inequality. We congratulate the Tribes in Nevada who are receiving these first-of-its-kind Rural Tribal Priority Window licenses, which will provide the opportunity for much-needed advanced wireless services. We will continue working to increase access to broadband and home internet connectivity to bridge the digital divide affecting so many of our nation’s Tribal communities.”

BACKGROUND: The FCC’s Wireless Telecommunications Bureau formally granted 154 applications, including 10 in Nevada, for use of the 2.5 GHz band to close the digital divide and provide broadband and other advanced wireless services, including 5G, to rural Tribal communities. These licenses provide for exclusive use of up to 117.5 megahertz of 2.5 GHz band spectrum that can be used by Tribes to connect their communities. The 10 Nevada Tribes awarded licenses are:

Applicant Name

Ely Shoshone Tribe

Fallon Paiute Shoshone Tribe

Lovelock Paiute Tribe

Moapa Band of Paiutes

Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe

Summit Lake Paiute Tribe

Te-Moak Bands of Western Shoshone Indians

Shoshone-Paiute Tribes of the Duck Valley Indian Reservation

Timbisha Shoshone Tribe

Confederated Tribes of the Goshute Reservation

Last month, Senators Rosen and Cortez Masto joined Senator Tom Udall’s letter to FCC Chairman Ajit Pai highlighting several actions the FCC could take to ensure Native communities have better access to broadband services.