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FCC hears from South Dakota tribes on telecom

The Federal Communications Commission is holding a two-day workshop in South Dakota to discuss telecommunications issues in Indian Country.

Tribal representatives said their reservations are underserved by telephone and wireless companies. "I always hear that commercial, 'Can you hear me now?' Come to Standing Rock," Mark White Bull, telecommunications project manager for the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, was quoted as saying.

J.D. Williams, general manager of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe Telephone Authority and president of the National Tribal Telecommunications Association, urged tribes to start their own telecom companies. But he and others said tribes encounter political resistance and bureaucratic roadblocks.

The workshop continues today in Rapid City.

Get the Story:
Tribes control telecom future (The Rapid City Journal 5/27)
Tribes see starting their own telecoms as an issue of sovereignty (AP 5/27)

Relevant Links:
Indian Initiatives, FCC -
The Digital Divide Network -

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