The Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) has awarded more than $118.8 million in grants as part of the Tribal Broadband Connectivity Program, bringing the total amount of program grants awarded to date to more than $457 million.
The initial program, which had just under $1 billion in funding, proved to be quite popular. During the application process, NTIA received more than 300 applications for over $5 billion in funding requests. The program subsequently received additional funding.
The most recent awards went to the Chippewa Cree Tribe (Montana), Nebraska Indian Community College (Nebraska), Omaha Tribe of Nebraska (Nebraska), Oglala Sioux Tribe (South Dakota), Rosebud Sioux Tribe (South Dakota), Shoshone Bannock Tribes (Idaho) and the Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewa (Wisconsin).
These grants will fund broadband infrastructure deployment, use, and adoption across Tribal lands, with funds coming from the Tribal Broadband Connectivity Program, funded by the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 and the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. NTIA has now made more than 60 awards through the program. Other awards will be announced on a rolling basis.
“High-speed internet helps people stay connected, allows businesses to thrive, and gives communities the opportunity to stay informed,” said Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo, in a prepared statement about the NTIA Tribal Broadband awards. “Closing the digital divide in Indian country is a crucial step for protecting local customs and traditions while invigorating the opportunities for global engagement and growth. The announcements we’re making over the next month are an exciting step on the journey.”