The Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) has awarded two additional grants, totaling more than $36 million, as part of the Tribal Broadband Connectivity Program (TBCP).
The latest grants, awarded to tribes in Hawaii and Minnesota, will fund projects to directly connect more than 4,399 unserved Native American households that previously had no connectivity to high-speed Internet, as well as businesses and anchor institutions.
The Tribal Broadband Connectivity Program is a nearly $3 billion grant program. The funds are made available from Bipartisan Infrastructure Law ($2 billion) and the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 ($980 million). To date, TBCP has awarded more than $1.73 billion to 132 Tribal entities. The funding will help expand high-speed Internet networks and support digital skills training to improve access to education, jobs, and healthcare on Tribal lands.
Nearly $2 billion in funding was made available as part of the Notice of Funding Opportunity announced in June 2021. An additional Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) for $1 billion in funds from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will be announced in the coming months. NTIA held three Tribal Consultations with Tribal leaders to solicit their input on the upcoming NOFO.
“Our Tribal Broadband Connectivity Program is continuing its historic and unprecedented commitment to close the digital divide by investing in Native communities,” Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo said in a prepared statement about the NTIA tribal broadband grants.
NTIA previously made multiple award announcements in the Tribal Broadband Connectivity Program.