The Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) has awarded eight grants totaling nearly $4 million ($3,998,000) to eight Tribes as part of the Tribal Broadband Connectivity Program (TBCP).
Grants were awarded to Tribal entities in California, Idaho, Kansas, Nebraska, New Mexico and Washington. All but one of the grants was for $500,000. The other grant was for $498,000.
These new NTIA Tribal broadband grants bring the total awarded in the program to more than $1.78 billion. Funding has gone to 191 Tribal entities. The funds are designed to help Tribes reduce monthly Internet service costs, plan for future Internet infrastructure investments, upgrade network equipment and buy related devices.
The Tribal Broadband Connectivity Program is a nearly $3 billion grant program and part of the Biden administration calls the Internet for All Initiative. The funds are made available from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law ($2 billion) and the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 ($980 million).
“These grants are part of the TBCP’s equitable distribution under the federal Indian trust responsibility and fiduciary obligation to Tribal governments,” NTIA said in a press release.
This process is designed to ensure that program funding is available to all eligible federally recognized Tribal governments with a qualifying application, the agency noted.
In May, NTIA awarded $4.5 million to nine Tribes.
In “the next weeks,” NTIA said it will release a second Notice of Funding Opportunity for an additional round of funding from the TBCP program.
“The Biden-Harris Administration is committed to bringing high-quality, affordable Internet access to every Tribal community,” said Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo, in a press release, which also includes more information about the eight NTIA tribal broadband awards made.
“These investments will improve Internet access across six states and give Tribes the connectivity they need to work, learn, and access health care,”