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Department of Commerce’s NTIA Awards Additional $1.5M in Broadband Grants to Tribal Groups

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 
January 31, 2022

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WASHINGTON – The Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) announced today it has awarded three additional grants as part of the Tribal Broadband Connectivity Program. These grants, totaling $1.5 million, are being awarded 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.

The two Alaskan grants will fund broadband use and adoption projects, while the Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians will use their grant for a planning study, as outlined in the table below. NTIA has now made a total of eight awards totaling about $4 million in funding through the Tribal Broadband Connectivity Program. NTIA will announce additional awards on a rolling basis as they go through our 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 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.”

The Tribal Broadband Connectivity Program, which was funded by the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021, makes $980 million available for grants to eligible Native American, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian entities for broadband deployment, digital inclusion, workforce development, telehealth, and distance learning.

President Biden’s recently enacted Bipartisan Infrastructure Law provides an additional $2 billion in funding for this program, as part of a historic $65 billion investment to expand broadband in communities across the U.S. Using resources provided by the law, NTIA is preparing to launch a series of new broadband grant programs that will build broadband infrastructure across the country, create more low-cost broadband service options, and address the digital equity and inclusion needs in our communities.

Additional broadband funding may be available through the Department of Treasury’s American Rescue Plan Funds. The BroadbandUSA Federal Funding Guide also compiles federal funding opportunities for expanding and improving broadband access. More information about the Tribal Broadband Connectivity Program can be found on the BroadbandUSA website.

Applicant Location Type of Project Funding Amount Brief Description
Village of Clarks Point Clarks Point, Alaska Broadband Use and Adoption $500,000 This project is designed to provide all tribal members who have been negatively impacted by COVID-19 with access to technology and Internet services at zero cost in order to combat social isolation, promote telework, bring remote access to college/training courses, and provide access to medical care from within the home.
Native Village of Selawik Selawik, Alaska Broadband Use and Adoption $500,000 This project will provide affordable broadband services through payment assistance programming to new and existing subscribers. The project will also provide tribal members seeking to re-enter the workforce with qualifying connected devices (i.e., laptops or tablets).
Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians Lincoln, Ore. Planning $500,000 This project will fund network planning activities in order to develop a solution for broadband infrastructure connection, construction, and service deployment for currently unserved Native American households, businesses, and community anchor institutions.