177. Any bidder winning support in Auction 902 must notify the appropriate Tribal government(s) of its winning bid no later than five business days after being identified by public notice as such a winning bidder. A winning bidder's engagement with the appropriate Tribal government(s) must consist, at a minimum, of discussion regarding: (i) A needs assessment and deployment planning with a focus on Tribal community anchor institutions; (ii) feasibility and sustainability planning; (iii) marketing services in a culturally sensitive manner; (iv) rights of way processes, land use permitting, facilities siting, environmental and cultural preservation review processes; and (v) compliance with Tribal business and licensing requirements. Thereafter, at the long-form application stage and in annual reports, a bidder winning support in Auction 902 will be required to certify that it has substantively engaged appropriate Tribal government officials regarding the minimum discussion topics, as well as any other issues specified by the Commission, and provide a summary of the results of such engagement. A copy of the certification and summary must be sent to the appropriate Tribal officials when it is sent to the Commission. Appropriate Tribal government officials are elected or duly authorized government officials of federally recognized American Indian Tribes and Alaska Native Villages. In the instance of the Hawaiian Home Lands, this engagement must occur with the
178. The Tribal engagement obligations established by the Commission will apply to Auction 902. The Bureaus note that there are three pending petitions for reconsideration of certain aspects of 47 CFR 54.313(a)(9), which mandates that annual reports on the Tribal government engagement requirements be filed by carriers receiving high-cost universal service support other than or in addition to any mobility fund support. In addition, there is a pending petition for reconsideration and clarification of the Tribal Engagement Further Guidance.
C. Coverage Requirements, Reporting Obligations, and Payment Disbursements
i. Coverage Requirements
179. Support recipients will be required to provide voice and broadband service meeting the established minimum standards over at least 75 percent of the population associated with the eligible blocks in each bidding area for which they receive support. Because Census data does not specify how population is distributed within a census block, the Bureaus sought comment on how to determine whether this coverage requirement is met. If a provider demonstrates new coverage over the entirety of an eligible census block, the Bureaus can assume coverage of the entire population of that census block. However, the Bureaus sought input on how to evaluate the population served by new coverage where a provider demonstrates new coverage over part of an eligible census block. In particular, the Bureaus asked whether they should assume that census block population is evenly distributed and assess coverage on the proportion of the geographic area covered, and they also sought comment on alternatives.
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