The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) has awarded $5,841,477.13 in grants to 12 Tribes in the Tribal Broadband Connectivity Program (TBCP). The awards will provide access to 164 previously unserved Tribal homes, support benefits to those already receiving services and set the stage for future deployments, NTIA said.

The funding brings the total number of awards made to date in the program to 147 entities which collectively have been pledged $1.76 billion.

The Tribal Broadband Connectivity Program is budgeted for almost $3 billion and is comprised of $2 billion from the $65 billion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, also known as the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, and $980 million from the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021.

Four states – Oklahoma, Kansas, Oregon, Washington and Wisconsin – got one award each in the latest announcement. Multiple awards were made to California (five) and Michigan (two).

Eleven of the awards were between $493,000 and $500,000. Only one – for planning, engineering, feasibility and sustainability for a FTTH project that will provide service to 25 Native American households on the Bridgeport Indian Colony reservation in California – is significantly less at $355,153.32.

Two examples of $500,000 grants:

  • The Broadband Use and Adoption project will support the cost of prepaid broadband service for 1,102 Tribal households belonging to the Sault Sainte Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians.
  • A planning and engineering, feasibility and sustainability project will complement a shovel-ready project for future funding for the Comanche Nation in Oklahoma.

Last month, the NTIA awarded tribal grants for more than $25.7 million to The Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe in Minnesota and the Pueblo of Acoma in New Mexico. The grants will connect more than 1,500 unserved Tribal Households and community anchor institutions.

The NTIA, which is part of the U.S. Department of Commerce, says that a second Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) for an additional round of funding in the Tribal program will be released during the next few months.

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