The FCC’s Office of Native Affairs and Policy (ONAP) has issued a Public Notice regarding the Tribal Mobility Fund Phase I program, which is now open for public comment. The Tribal Mobility Fund Phase I will distribute $50 million in one-time high-cost universal service support to eligible telecommunications providers (ETCs) serving Tribal lands that currently lack 3G or better mobile voice and broadband services.

The $50 million will be distributed via reverse auction, known as Auction 902. Important information in this Public Notice includes:

  • The Tribal Mobility Fund Phase I auction (Auction 902) is scheduled for October 24, 2013;
  • The Notice identifies the eligible Tribal areas (including maps) and provides a challenge process (paragraphs 17 to 23); and
  • The Notice describes the proposed auction procedures and seeks comment on them (paragraphs 24 to 60).

Comments are due on May 10th, 2013 and reply comments are due on May 24th. After ONAP reviews the comments, the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau will release a final procedures Public Notice, which will include a final list of Tribal areas eligible for the auction, and will announce when the applications for participation in Auction 902 are due. For any Tribally owned entities considering participating in Auction 902, ETC designation petitions must also be filed by the Auction 902 short form deadline.

To access the Public Notice and the maps of eligible areas, click HERE.