On Monday, U.S. Senator Tom Udall and Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Tom Wheeler will visit the Pueblo of Acoma
to discuss the importance of expanding broadband services on tribal lands for economic development and to expand education opportunities. Udall, chairman of the Appropriations subcommittee that oversees the FCC, is a longtime champion of expanding broadband to all communities, rural and urban. Udall played a key role in the creation of the FCC's Office of Native Affairs and Policy (ONAP), which has pushed to expand high-speed Internet access throughout Indian county. Udall and Wheeler will meet with Governor Fred S. Vallo, Sr., Tribal Council and senior administration officials at the Office of the Governor at 10 a.m. Media are invited to attend. Udall and Wheeler will then join the Tribal leaders to tour and discuss how broadband services are helping expand business and education opportunities. They will meet with leaders of Acoma Business Enterprises (ABE), the business wing of the Pueblo of Acoma, and visit the Acoma Learning Center. The Learning Center's director, Nolan Valdo, will discuss the tribe's experiences with E-rate, an initiative to make telecommunications and information services more affordable for schools and libraries. FCC is in the process of modernizing E-rate to expand high capacity broadband access for students and teachers nationwide. At noon, Udall, Wheeler and tribal leaders meet for lunch at the Sky City Cultural Center and Haak’u Museum to discuss technology and telecommunication services on tribal lands.