WASHINGTON – The Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) announced $143,639,693.50 in funds awarded from the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 to Tribes in two states. The awards will provide funds for high-speed internet infrastructure deployment projects through the Internet for All Initiative’s Tribal Broadband Connectivity Program for the Hoopa Valley Tribal Council and Yurok Telecommunications Corp. in California and the Spokane Tribe of Indians in Washington. These awards will connect more than 2,800 homes across these three Tribes affording more families access to the critical connectivity necessary for learning, work, and telehealth.
Today’s announcement is part of a more than $500 million package that is going to Tribal applicants this month. During a press call announcing the historic investments, Vice President Kamala Harris said, “Our administration’s vision is to connect all Native communities with the Internet and with the opportunity that comes along with access to affordable Internet — the opportunity to live healthier, happier, and more prosperous lives. And we will continue to fight every day to make that vision a reality.” Her full remarks are available here.
“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. “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.”
NTIA has now made a total of 63 awards totaling more than $601 million in funding through the TBCP. These awards are part of the Biden Administration’s commitment to nation-to-nation engagement and an effort to connect everyone in America, including American Indians and Natives, with affordable, reliable, high-speed internet.
The Tribal Broadband Connectivity Program is a nearly $3 billion grant program and part of the Biden-Harris Administration’s Internet for All Initiative. The awards announced today were part of nearly $1 billion made available in the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021. President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law appropriated an additional $2 billion for the Tribal Broadband Connectivity Program. Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Communications and Information Alan Davidson recently announced that NTIA has added $1 billion of that funding to the existing funding opportunity, meaning the Administration can fund more of the projects that already submitted applications. An additional Notice of Funding Opportunity for the remaining funds will be announced later in 2022, and NTIA will hold consultations with Tribal leaders in September to solicit their input.
President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law includes a historic $65 billion investment to expand high-speed internet in communities across the U.S. NTIA recently launched a series of new high-speed internet grant programs funded by the law that will build high-speed internet infrastructure across the country, create more low-cost high-speed internet service options, and address the digital equity and inclusion needs in our communities.
For more information on the Biden-Harris Administration’s high-speed internet programs as well as quotes from the awardees, please visit InternetforAll.gov.
|Applicant||Location||Type of Project||Funding Amount||Brief Description|
|Yurok Telecommunications Corp.||CA||Broadband Infrastructure Deployment||$61,661,365.50||The Broadband Infrastructure Deployment project proposes to install middle fiber and last mile wireless connecting 921 unserved Native American households on the Yurok Reservation and Yurok Ancestral Lands with fixed wireless to the home with 100 Mbps/25 Mbps service.|
|Hoopa Valley Tribal Council||CA||Broadband Infrastructure Deployment||$65,140,407.72||The Broadband Infrastructure Deployment project proposes to install fiber and wireless to directly connect 1,045 unserved Native American households, 64 Tribal businesses, and 19 community anchor institutions with fiber-to-the-home with 25 Gbps/3 Gbps service, construct a Tribal data center, install a tower, and provide workforce development training.|
|Spokane Tribe of Indians||WA||Broadband Infrastructure Deployment||$16,837,920.31||The Broadband Infrastructure Deployment project proposes to install fiber directly connecting 800 unserved Native American households, 10 businesses, and 28 anchor institutions with fiber-to-the-home 100 Mbps/100 Mbps service.|