Native American Students in Classroom with Teacher

The Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) has awarded more than $146 million to tribal entities in New Mexico. The awards will provide five tribal entities with funds for broadband internet projects.

NTIA recently added $1 billion to the current Tribal Broadband Connectivity Program (TBCP) funding period, which closes at the beginning of next month.

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 sheer volume of requests and the significant need to quickly expand high-speed internet service on Tribal lands prompted the NTIA to allocate this additional $1 billion from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law toward the initial Notice of Funding Opportunity announced in June 2021.

Earlier this week, NTIA announced more than $51 million in awards to Tribes in the state of Alaska, the awards today are another tranche of this funding. NTIA intends to continue to make awards throughout the summer and fall of this year in order to get these resources to communities in need.

NTIA has now made a total of 51 awards totaling more than $290 million in funding through the Tribal Broadband Connectivity Program. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, also known as the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, provides a $65 billion investment to expand broadband internet in communities across the U.S. and for digital literacy and affordability.

NTIA recently launched a series of new high-speed internet grant programs funded by the law that will build high-speed internet infrastructure across the country, create more low-cost high-speed internet service options, and address the digital equity and inclusion needs in our communities.

“Tribal lands have been called the least connected places in America,” said Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo in a prepared statement.

“These grants are just the beginning,” she added, noting that the IIJA provides “the resources to provide transformative infrastructure to Native communities, bringing new economic and educational opportunities while enabling Tribes to preserve their cultural identity and traditions.”

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