Tribes have been particularly hard-hit by the pandemic. Unfortunately, the impact is deeply worsened by the fact that less than 50% of Tribal regions have access to broadband, making it nearly impossible for these hard-hit regions to continue work or education while responding appropriately to the health crises.
Fortunately, the pandemic has given rise to an unprecedented opportunity. US government agencies have allocated billions of dollars in COVID-relief funding for which the Tribes are eligible. The funds can be used to establish or improve education, health services, and economic empowerment. To help realize these priorities, broadband solutions can be acquired or expanded to strengthen most categories of Tribal socio-economic development.
But there’s a catch: Tribes must act quickly to secure the funds and, once acquired, there is little time to spend them; many funds have “clawback” clauses, which require Tribes to return any monies that haven’t been used within the allowable timeframe. This puts extreme time pressure on Tribal broadband procurements… and increases the importance of strong contracting practices to ensure that Tribes are not only protected but that they are empowered before, during, and after acquisitions.
CILS invites you to attend a complimentary webinar where best — and worst — contracting practices will be shared by an expert team of advisors, including:
Geeks Without Frontiers works with under-served communities on broadband planning, implementation, and use.
BBK, a law firm that provides timely solutions to complex legal issues facing government jurisdictions, businesses, and individuals.