Banning, Beaumont Congressman Introduces Bill to Provide Broadband Access to Tribal Members March 17, 2017
"I'm honored to introduce the Tribal Digital Access Act to help close the digital divide in Indian Country," Rep. Raul Ruiz said.
By Patch CA (Patch Staff)
PALM DESERT, CA - A Coachella Valley lawmaker Thursday introduced a bill that would add lands defined as "Indian Country" to a list of areas to receive federal funding for broadband access.
Rep. Raul Ruiz, D-Palm Desert, introduced the Tribal Digital Access Act Thursday, which would amend the Communications Act of 1934 to include "Indian Country" and areas with "high populations of Indian people" as areas to receive access to broadband internet.
Indian Country is defined in U.S. Code as "all land within the limits of any Indian reservation under the jurisdiction of the United States Government" and "all dependent Indian communities within the borders of the United States."
"I'm honored to introduce the Tribal Digital Access Act to help close the digital divide in Indian Country," Ruiz said. "Far too many tribes don't have access to essential communications services. My commonsense bill helps bridge the gap in Indian Country by making deployment of broadband and telecommunications services on tribal lands a core principle for the Federal Communications Commission's Universal Services Programs. Tribes deserve equal access to communications that will help students learn, increase educational achievement, and stimulate economic development."