Three grants were awarded today as part of the Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) Tribal Broadband Connectivity Program. The awards, which total $1.5 million, went to the Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians in Lincoln, Ore., and two Alaskan villages: the Village of Clarks Point and the Native Village of Selawik.
There have been 280 requests for funding under the program. Two other awards were made near the end of last year.
The program, initially funded through the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021, made $980 million available for grants to eligible Native American, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian entities for broadband deployment, digital inclusion, distance learning, telehealth and workforce development.
The recently enacted bipartisan infrastructure law provides an additional $2 billion in funding for this program.
The two Alaskan grants awarded today will fund broadband use and adoption projects. The Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians grant is designated for a planning study.
With the most recent grants, NTIA has now made a total of seven awards totaling about $4 million through the program. NTIA will announce additional awards on a rolling basis as the applications go through a review process.
“These grants will help tribal communities connect so they can work remotely, access medical care, and communicate with friends and family,” said Alan Davidson, Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Communications and Information, in a prepared statement about the Tribal Broadband Connectivity grants. “In the months to come, the Tribal Broadband Connectivity Program will continue to roll out resources so we can close the digital divide on tribal lands.”