The Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) has awarded grants totaling nearly $5 million to 10 Tribes from the Tribal Broadband Connectivity fund.
The $4,997,592.68 in funding brings the total awarded under the program to more than $1.77 billion awarded to 157 Tribal entities. The funds will be used to reduce monthly Internet service costs, plan for future Internet infrastructure investments, upgrade network equipment, and purchase devices.
Each of the awards announced today was at or near $500,000.
The Tribal Broadband Connectivity Program (TBCP) is a nearly $3 billion grant program, with funds coming from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law ($2 billion) and the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 ($980 million). The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law has a total budget of $65 billion, with the goal of connecting everyone in the country.
The newly awarded TBCP grants are part of the program’s equitable distribution and fiduciary obligation to Tribal governments, which is designed to ensure that program funding is available to all eligible federally recognized Tribal governments who had a qualifying application.
The grants help Tribal communities to move forward in planning for future high-speed Internet infrastructure projects or promoting Internet use and adoption.
NTIA will release a second Notice of Funding Opportunity for an additional round of funding from the TBCP program within the next few months.
Prior to the awards announced today, the most recent awards, announced in late March, were to provide $25.7 million for broadband for two Tribes.
“Tribal communities have a wealth of culture and knowledge to share with the world,” said Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Communications and Information Alan Davidson, in a prepared statement. “These grants will expand affordable and reliable high-speed Internet service for Tribal households across the U.S. This connectivity will help Tribes preserve traditions and fully participate in the modern digital economy.”