Protecting Public Airwaves

in Protecting Public Airwaves

Last week, new legislation was introduced to require the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to extend the Rural Tribal Priority Window for 2.5 GHz spectrum by at least 180 days. This new bipartisan, bicameral legislation is called the Extending Tribal Broadband Priority Act of 2020. The bill would require the FCC to open a window no

in Protecting Public Airwaves

In his latest article, Voqal’s Mark Colwell examines how the success of the recent Rural Tribal Priority Window is evidence that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) should open a Rural Education Window for Educational Broadband Service licenses.  Last week, the FCC’s first-ever Rural Tribal Priority Window (TPW) came to a close. This special spectrum application

in Increasing Internet Access, Protecting Public Airwaves

In his latest article, Voqal’s director of telecommunications strategy, Mark Colwell, shares how increased broadband competition can address the adoption gap and reduce the digital divide.  Never has the need for closing the digital divide received more attention than in recent months, as Americans have relied more than ever on broadband for work, school, entertainment,

in Protecting Public Airwaves

For too long, inmates serving time in prison have paid exorbitant rates for inmate communications services (ICS) like phone calls, text messages, and emails. High rates impact inmates communicating with loved ones and/or their attorneys. As the Prison Policy Initiative recently reported: “These high rates and fees can be disastrous for people incarcerated in local

in Increasing Internet Access, Protecting Public Airwaves

Earlier this week, a group of organizations including the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI), AMERIND Risk Management Corp., the Southern California Tribal Chairmen’s Association (SCTCA), and Public Knowledge filed an emergency motion for stay with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to extend the Rural Tribal Priority Window until February 1, 2021. Voqal recently joined

in Increasing Internet Access, Protecting Public Airwaves

Earlier this week, Voqal joined 15 organizations in a letter requesting that Congress ask the FCC to extend the 2.5 GHz Rural Tribal Priority Window. The letter was delivered the same day that the House Energy and Commerce Committee hosted a hearing focused on ways Congress can help tribes during the COVID-19 pandemic. Tribal broadband

in Increasing Internet Access, Protecting Public Airwaves

In the latest update from Voqal’s director of telecommunications strategy, Mark Colwell assesses congressional efforts to increase broadband funding this year.  One of Voqal’s organizational goals is to improve broadband connectivity – especially among those who are unable to afford service or who have traditionally been disadvantaged based on where they live. Voqal has continually

in Protecting Public Airwaves

Late last month, we wrote about the growing concern that rural tribal nations might miss a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to apply for Educational Broadband Spectrum (EBS) over their lands due to the impact of COVID-19. EBS is an important tool to deliver affordable wireless broadband services. On February 3, the FCC opened its first-ever Rural Tribal

in Increasing Internet Access, Protecting Public Airwaves

Throughout the two-month coronavirus stay-at-home orders, the Gigabit Libraries Network has hosted weekly presentations to discuss anchor institutions meeting the connectivity needs of their communities. Over 1,300 participants have heard from 26 speakers since the series began in late March. All of the events have been recorded and posted on the Pandemic Response page at

in Protecting Public Airwaves

Voqal is dedicated to helping solve the digital divide. Much of the focus on solving this challenge has been on providing every American with access at home. But access is only one side of the coin. As we highlighted in last week’s blog, the broadband adoption gap in America remains extremely concerning and persistent. While

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