The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) has awarded the Ione Band of Miwok Indians $459,000 through the Tribal Broadband Connectivity Program, which is making $980 million in grants to eligible Native American, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian entities for broadband deployment, digital inclusion, workforce development, telehealth and distance learning.
NTIA made four other awards in April and two in March.
The Miwok Indians indicated that they plan to use the funds for a study to develop a comprehensive high-speed internet infrastructure deployment plan for Tribal Lands in rural Amador County, CA.
With this grant, the NTIA has now made a total of 44 awards totaling more than $91 million in funding through the Tribal Broadband Connectivity Program. NTIA received more than 300 applications during the application window, which closed last September. Other grant recipients will be announced on a rolling basis once applicants succeed in going through the review process.
The funds are part of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, also known as the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, which provides $65 billion in funding to expand high-speed internet in communities across the country. NTIA recently launched a series of new high-speed internet grant programs funded by the law with projects to build high-speed internet infrastructure and create more low-cost high-speed internet service options as well as to address digital equity and inclusion needs in various communities.
“Our Tribal communities badly need better connectivity to thrive in the modern digital economy,” said Alan Davidson, Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Communications and Information, in a prepared statement. “The Ione Band of Miwok Indians’ plan to connect their critical wellness, housing, and community centers is a testament to how high-speed internet service can uplift entire communities.”