The latest batch of awards in the NTIA Tribal Broadband Connectivity program totals more than $600 million. The 23 grants will go to tribal entities in 15 states to cover some of the costs of deploying broadband to tribal areas and toward digital skills training.

The grants will fund connectivity to 42,268 unserved native American households, as well as businesses and anchor institutions. Over 1,000 jobs will be created as a result of the awards, NTIA said.

The Tribal Broadband Connectivity Program was allotted nearly $1 billion in the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 and another $2 billion in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.

NTIA Tribal Broadband Connectivity Grants

The biggest award in the latest batch of NTIA awards is $52.5 million to Calista Corporation for a fiber project serving 10 Alaska native villages. Following the Calista award was a $50 million award to Chickasaw Nation for a fiber and fixed wireless project in Oklahoma.

Other states where tribal entities received some of the $600 million in grants include Arizona, California, Colorado, Kansas, Minnesota, Montana, North Dakota, Nebraska, Oregon, Texas, Utah, Washington and Wisconsin.

To date, NTIA has awarded $1.35 billion in the Tribal Broadband Connectivity program. The agency said it will issue a notice of funding opportunity (NOFO) for $1 billion in the program in “the coming months.”

In preparation for that NOFO, NTIA recently held three consultations with tribal leaders to solicit their input, according to a press release.

“We are making an historic investment in Tribal communities to ensure reliable, affordable high-speed internet for all,” said Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo in a prepared statement about today’s news. “Today’s awards will not only build high-speed internet capacity within Tribal Nations, but also bring digital opportunities for good-paying jobs, education and healthcare.”

A full list of tribal entities whose grants were announced today can be found in the release at this link.

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