173. In the Auction 902 Comment Public Notice, the Bureaus proposed to permit a recipient of Tribal Mobility Fund Phase I support to demonstrate compliance with the reasonably comparable rates requirement in the same manner as recipients of general Mobility Fund Phase I support. This would require a supported provider to demonstrate that its required stand-alone voice plan, and one service plan that offers data services, if it offers such plans, are (1) substantially similar to a service plan offered by at least one mobile wireless service provider in an urban area, and (2) offered for the same or a lower rate than the matching urban service plan. The Bureaus note that any provider that itself offers the same service plan for the same rate in a supported area and in an urban area would be able to meet this requirement. For purposes of Tribal Mobility Fund Phase I, the Bureaus proposed to treat any rate equal to or less than the highest rate for a matching service charged in an urban area as reasonably comparable to, i.e., within a reasonable range of, rates for similar service in urban areas. For purposes of this requirement, the Bureaus proposed to define "urban area" as one of the 100 most populated CMAs in
174. The Bureaus proposed to make a limited exception for supported parties serving
175. The Bureaus adopt the proposals in the Auction 902 Comment Public Notice for Tribal Mobility Fund Phase I, including the proposed limited exception for supported providers serving
x. Tribal Engagement Requirements: Certification and Summary of Engagement
176. Beginning at the long-form application stage, and continuing throughout the term of support, Tribal Mobility Fund Phase I winning bidders are required to comply with the Tribal engagement obligations applicable to all ETCs. As the Commission discussed in the USF/ICC Transformation Order, these obligations are designed to ensure that Tribal governments have been formally and effectively engaged in the planning process and that the services to be provided will advance the goals established by the Tribal government. Thus, the Bureaus encourage applicants seeking to serve Tribal lands to begin engaging with the appropriate Tribal governments as soon as possible. The Bureaus note that any such engagement must be done consistent with the rules prohibiting certain communications during the competitive bidding process.
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