H.R.555 - Native American Telecommunications Act of 1997105th Congress (1997-1998)
Summary: H.R.555 — 105th Congress (1997-1998)
Introduced in House (02/04/1997)
Native American Telecommunications Act of 1997 - Amends the Communications Act of 1934 (the Act) to require the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to initiate a proceeding to develop and establish an official policy regarding the relations between FCC and American Indians (including Alaskan Natives). Requires the policy to include procedures for giving Native Americans notice and the opportunity for meaningful participation and comment in any proceedings affecting tribal lands, including competitive bidding conducted for bands of frequencies in geographic coverage areas under the jurisdiction of tribal governments.
Requires a review and revision as necessary of such policies at least every three years.
Requires the FCC to exercise the authority of, and comply with the requirements of the Act on, State commissions with respect to the designation of eligible telecommunications carriers for, and of service areas within, any lands under the jurisdiction of a tribal government.
Declares it to be a Federal responsibility to assure the availability of quality telecommunications services to Native Americans by means of universal service support mechanisms.
Requires the FCC to: (1) prescribe regulations necessary to obtain reliable statistics concerning the extent of subscribership to, and the affordability of, telecommunications on Indian lands; and (2) periodically review and summarize such data in its annual reports; and (3) take necessary actions to deliver universal telecommunications services to Native Americans at just, reasonable, and affordable rates.
Amends the National Telecommunications and Information Administration Organization Act to make the Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Communications and Information and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration responsible for designing and proposing policy initiatives to encourage investment in, and the deployment of, telecommunications systems on Indian lands.