The Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) has awarded four additional grants as part of its Tribal Broadband Connectivity Program.
Three other grants were awarded at the end at the end of January. In all 280 requests for funds have been made as part of the program.
The most recent grants, totaling nearly $1.2 million, will be used for high-speed infrastructure deployment projects for the Cabazon Band of Mission Indians in California, Forest County Potawatomi Community in Wisconsin, Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribe in Washington State, and the St. Croix Chippewa Indians, also in Wisconsin.
The program was originally funded by the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021. It provides $980 million available for grants to eligible Native American, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian entities for various broadband projects, including deployment, digital inclusion, distance learning, telehealth and workforce development.
The program gained an additional $2 billion in funding via the recently enacted Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, which provides $65 billion for broadband in communities across the U.S.
“Across the country, too many Americans don’t have access to reliable, high-speed broadband. This is especially true for those living in Tribal communities,” said Alan Davidson, Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Communications and Information, in a prepared statement about the tribal broadband grants. “NTIA’s Tribal Broadband Connectivity Program is playing a crucial role in meeting the mission and closing the digital divide by expanding internet access to tribal communities and connecting them to schools, health care services, business opportunities and more.”