Washington, D.C. – U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley said today that the Confederated Tribes of the Coos, Lower Umpqua and Siuslaw Indians have secured federal spectrum licenses that will help to close the digital divide by providing Tribes with expanded access to broadband and other advanced wireless services.
The good news for the Confederated Tribes of the Coos, Lower Umpqua and Siuslaw Indians follows the granting of similar federal spectrum licenses in the fall to the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde, Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation, Coquille Indian Tribe, Cow Creek Band of Umpqua Tribe of Indians, and the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs.
“Modern wireless broadband is a must for the Confederated Tribes of the Coos, Lower Umpqua and Siuslaw Indians needing connectivity to telehealth, classroom instruction and work opportunities,” Wyden said. “Today’s news marks a key milestone to advance broadband equity for Tribal communities, and I’ll keep battling for full broadband access as a key part of the work to address all other historic inequities this country has inflicted on Tribes in our state and nationwide.”
“Since the United States’ founding, our federal government has committed a long list of morally reprehensible actions against tribal communities; we must not only stop these actions, but also do everything we can to reverse the generations of harm they’ve caused,” said Merkley. “That means ensuring tribal nations have access to the resources they need to thrive—including affordable, quality broadband that will make it easier to attend remote school and work, find new employment opportunities, and get access to telehealth services and critical public health information. This funding is an important step forward in that effort, and I’m going to keep doing all that I can to tackle longstanding inequities and secure resources to help tribal nations build a solid foundation for the future.”
The Confederated Tribes of the Coos, Lower Umpqua and Siuslaw Indians is a recipient of the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) spectrum licenses through the agency’s first-of-its-kind Rural Tribal Priority Window. The 2.5 GHz Rural Tribal Priority Window gave Tribes an opportunity to apply for unassigned spectrum over their lands that is mid-band and can be used for both mobile coverage and 5G broadband access.