The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) today awarded more than $143.6 million in funds from the 2021 Consolidated Appropriations Act Tribal Broadband Connectivity Program in two states.
The awards will provide funds for broadband internet infrastructure deployment projects for the Hoopa Valley Tribal Council and Yurok Telecommunications Corp. in California and the Spokane Tribe of Indians in Washington. The projects are designed to connect more than 2,800 homes across these three Tribes.
NTIA has now made a total of 63 awards totaling more than $601 million in funding through the TBCP, a nearly $3 billion program. The awards announced today were part of nearly $1 billion made available in the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021. The initial program, with just under $1 billion in funding, proved to be quite popular. During the application process, NTIA received more than 300 applications for over $5 billion in funding requests.
The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law appropriated an additional $2 billion for the Tribal Broadband Connectivity Program. More recently, NTIA added $1 billion of that funding to the current funding round.
The most recent awards are part of a more than $500 million package that is going to Tribal applicants this month.
An additional Notice of Funding Opportunity for the remaining funds will be announced later this year. NTIA will hold consultations with Tribal leaders next month to solicit their input.
“High-speed internet helps people stay connected, allows businesses to thrive, and gives communities the opportunity to stay informed,” said Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo, in a prepared statement about the NTIA Tribal Broadband Connectivity awards. “Closing the digital divide in Indian country is a crucial step for protecting local customs and traditions while invigorating the opportunities for global engagement and growth. The announcements we’re making over the next month are an exciting step on the journey.”