NTIA has received applications requesting a total of $2.64 billion in the current round of the Tribal Broadband Connectivity Program. There is a budget of $980 million for this round of funding.

A total of 160 applications were received.

The program aims to connect households and businesses on Tribal lands to broadband, as well as to plan for future internet infrastructure investments and upgrade network equipment, according to the NTIA, which is part of the U.S. Department of Commerce.

The total budget of the program is $2.98 billion. It is funded from two sources: The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law is providing $2 billion and the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 is providing $980 million.

“For Tribal communities to thrive in the modern digital economy, they need access to affordable, reliable high-speed internet service,” Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Communications and Information and NTIA Administrator Alan Davidson said in a press release. “The number of applications for our Tribal connectivity program shows that demand remains high for quality internet service in Indian Country.” 

Oversubscribed programs are neither rare nor new. For instance, network operators in Oklahoma have asked for $5.1 billion from The Oklahoma Broadband Office for a program with a budget of only $374 million. That equates to a 14:1 ratio of requests to available dollars.

Some other examples:

  • Michigan: $1.3 billion in requests against a budget of $231 million in the Realizing Opportunity with Broadband Infrastructure Networks (ROBIN) program.
  • Colorado: $643 million in requests against a $162 million budget in the Advance Colorado Broadband grant program.
  • Texas: $180 million in requests against $120 million budget in the Bringing Online Opportunities to Texas program.
  • Ohio: $780 million in requests against $77 million available through BroadbandOhio.

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