Udall asks FCC to provide phone service to tribes

Gallup, New Mexico (AP) 11-09

Sen. Tom Udall is asking the chairman of the Federal Communications Commission to share plans for providing telephone service to Native American communities.

In a letter to FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski, Udall writes that more than 30 percent of households in Indian Country do not have access to basic telephone service.

Udall says on the Navajo Nation, two out of three people cannot receive telephone service in their homes.

Udall says he’s concerned about the FCC’s management of more than $7 billion in annual universal service funds, if the agency can’t ensure that all people in the United States have basic telephone service.

Udall says not having a landline is not only an inconvenience, but also can mean the difference between life and death if an ambulance is needed.