Saturday, November 5, 2016

Standing Rock Tribes Leery of Eminent Domain Takeover of Spectrum

Conflicts between Native Americans and police erupted again this week at the construction site for the Dakota Access Pipeline. Several Native American tribes are protesting the $3.8 billion project being built near a dam on the Missouri River. Meanwhile, at least one tribe member who’s also in the telecom industry worries an aspect of the pipeline conflict could impact wireless services on his reservation.  Eminent domain was used to clear the way for the pipeline which, for now, is to be located near land the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe says is ancestral soil near the reservation.

Tribe member Fred McLaughlin, general manager of the tribe-owned local wireless provider Standing Rock Telecom, fears federal and private entities covet the tribe’s wireless spectrum.  Standing Rock Telecom owns 17 towers and provides monthly contracts to 1,600+ subscribers; its signals cover 3,500 miles and the service has played an important role in social media coverage of the protests, reports motherboard. Continue Reading

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