The FCC has released its Report on Broadband Deployment in Indian Country, pursuant to Section 508(a)(1) of the RAY BAUM’s Act of 2018. Last year’s legislation requires the Commission to evaluate broadband coverage in Indian country and on land held by Alaskan native corporations. Specifically, the report provides an analysis of broadband deployment on Tribal lands using FCC Form 477 data as of December 2017, as well as an overview of the Commission’s ongoing efforts to address unserved areas on Tribal lands that are not yet reflected in this data. Among the findings in the report are the following:
- 92% of housing units on urban Tribal lands are covered by a fixed terrestrial provider of 25/5 Mbps broadband service, but only 46.6% of housing units on rural Tribal lands have access to that service.
- 99.8% of the population living on non-Tribal areas is covered by mobile LTE service, but only 96% of the population living on Tribal lands is covered by such service.
- 36% of Tribal housing units in urban areas are located in census block groups with 20 or fewer housing units per kilometer of road distance, but 88% of Tribal housing units in rural areas are located in such census block groups.
- Over 56% of non-Tribal housing units are covered by two or more wired providers of 25/3 Mbps service, but only 21% of Tribal housing units are covered by two or more such providers.
- Nearly 96% of the population on Tribal lands is covered by at least one 4G/LTE provider, however, 24% of the Tribal lands based on geography remain unserved by even a single 4G/LTE service provider.