The Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) has awarded nine grants, totaling more than $30.3 million in funds, as part of the Tribal Broadband Connectivity Program (TBCP).
The latest grants increase total funding awarded through TBCP to nearly $1.7 billion, with 130 Tribal entities receiving funds. TBCP funds come from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, also known as the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act ($2 billion) and the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 ($980 million).
The grants will provide funds to expand high-speed Internet service network deployment and digital skills training to improve access to education, jobs, and healthcare on Tribal lands.
Tribes in six states received grants – Arizona, California, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Oregon, and Maine. These awards are part TBCP’s effort to close the digital divide for Native Americans and Alaskan Natives Projects funded by the most recent grants will directly connect 3,222 unserved Native American households that previously had no connectivity to high-speed Internet as well as businesses and anchor institutions, while also creating 85 new jobs.
In mid-November, TBCP awarded $224 million in grants to tribal areas in 11 states.
More funds are still to be awarded. Nearly $2 billion in funding was made available as part of a Notice of Funding Opportunity announced in June 2021. An additional Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) for $1 billion in funds will be announced in the coming months.
“The investments we announced today are a crucial step in closing the digital divide in Indian country,” said Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo in a prepared statement about the Tribal Broadband funds.