The Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) today awarded funds to nine Tribes totaling $4.5 million as part of the Tribal Broadband Connectivity Program (TBCP), bringing the total program awards to more than $1.77 billion to 166 Tribal entities.
Each of today’s awards was for $500,000. The grants are aimed at helping to cut monthly Internet service costs, plan for future Internet infrastructure investments, upgrade network equipment and purchase devices.
The Tribal Broadband Connectivity Program is a nearly $3 billion grant program, with funds from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law ($2 billion) and the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 ($980 million). The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law provides $65 billion in funding to connect everyone in America.
The funds are part of the TBCP’s equitable distribution process in recognition of the federal Indian trust responsibility and fiduciary obligation to Tribal governments. The grants awarded today allow for Tribal communities to move forward in planning for future high-speed Internet infrastructure projects or promoting Internet use and adoption.
Last month, NTIA awarded $5.8 million to 12 Tribal nations.
NTIA will release a second Notice of Funding Opportunity for an additional round of funding from the TBCP program within the next few months.
“Tribal communities deserve access to affordable, reliable, high-speed Internet service,” Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Communications and Information Alan Davidson said in a prepared statement about the NTIA tribal broadband funds. “These grants will help lower barriers to Internet access today and plan for the future high-speed Internet infrastructure projects of tomorrow.”