WASHINGTON – The Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) this month kicked off the Tribal Broadband Leaders Network, a community of practitioners who are dedicated to expanding connectivity on Tribal lands. More than 130 participants representing more than 70 Tribes attended the first network meeting on Oct. 13. The Tribal Broadband Leaders Network was first announced by Secretary Raimondo on Sept. 20 at the National Tribal Broadband Summit, hosted by the Department of the Interior.
The Tribal Broadband Leaders Network will allow NTIA to receive ongoing feedback on our Tribal grant program, while connecting Tribal leaders across the country to share priorities and best practices, discuss emerging telecommunications policy issues, and identify engagement strategies with state broadband leaders. This forum for Tribal leaders will be essential to improving communication time between Tribes and the federal government.
“Our consultations with Tribal leaders have been vital in shaping our Tribal Broadband Connectivity Program and our approach to connecting the unconnected on Tribal lands,” said Alan Davidson, Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Communications and Information. “The Tribal Broadband Leaders Network will allow us to continue to hear directly from Tribal leaders, while connecting those on the front lines of these efforts to ensure no one is left behind.”
The new Tribal Broadband Leaders Network is modeled on two other groups that NTIA coordinates: the State Broadband Leaders Network and the Digital Equity Leaders Network. It will host monthly meetings with Tribal leaders and those authorized to speak on their behalf. Invitations to join the network were sent to Tribal leaders across the country.
To inquire about being added to the network, please contact Matt Rogotzke, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tribal Broadband Connectivity Program
The Tribal Broadband Connectivity Program (TBCP) is a nearly $3 billion grant program and part of the Biden-Harris Administration’s Internet for All Initiative. NTIA has made a total of 94 awards totaling more than $1.35 billion in funding through the TBCP program.
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. NTIA also maintains a Tribal Nations resources page, with links to award resources, past Tribal consultations, and other relevant resources.
Internet for All
President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law includes a historic $65 billion investment to expand affordable and reliable high-speed Internet access 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.
Additionally, the Federal Communications Commission’s Affordable Connectivity Program provides a discount of up to $30 per month toward internet service for eligible households and up to $75 per month for households on qualifying Tribal lands. Visit getinternet.gov.
For more information on the Biden-Harris Administration’s high-speed Internet programs as well as quotes from the awardees, please visit InternetforAll.gov.