The Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) today awarded a pair of grants with a total value of nearly $1 million to the iPinoleville Pomo Nation in California and the Ketchikan Indian Community in Alaska. The awards were made under the Tribal Broadband Connectivity Program.
The program is funded by the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021, and provides $980 million for grants to eligible Native American, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian entities for broadband deployment, as well as digital inclusion, workforce development, telehealth and distance learning programs.
NTIA Tribal Broadband Awards
With the grants announced today, NTIA has now made a total of 10 awards in the program totaling more than $4.8 million. The latest grants will be used to fund projects designed to improve healthcare, improve workforce development and aid education, housing and social services in the iPinoleville Pomo Nation in the Ketchikan Indian Community.
Other awards will be announced on a rolling basis. NTIA received more than 300 applications during the program’s application window.
The agency is planning to use an additional $2 billion in funds from the recently enacted Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to further expand the Tribal Broadband Connectivity Program.
“Tribal communities in Alaska and California continue to face barriers to broadband access and digital inclusion. These grants are bringing us one step closer to eliminating those barriers,” said Alan Davidson, assistant secretary of commerce for communications and information, in a prepared statement about the NTIA tribal broadband awards. “Today’s awards represent another milestone in our journey to close the digital divide and provide these communities with the resources they need to thrive in the 21st century.”
The grants announced today follow grants awarded in mid-January to tribes in Oregon and in two Alaskan villages.