*By NTIA Office of Public Affairs 5/4/2022 | Source: https://ntia.gov/press-release/2022/biden-administration-awards-nearly-77-million-expand-internet-access-dozens?fbclid=IwAR0jr3OlvBjJPEowdycbvd7DZbYj81_Af2YUVcm_TP9ulHFBzUUEk19UXpA

WASHINGTON – Today, the Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) announced that it has awarded 19 grants as part of the Tribal Broadband Connectivity Program. Andy Berke, NTIA’s Special Representative for Broadband, will announce the grants at an event today in the Gila River Indian Community in Arizona.

The grants, totaling nearly $77 million, are being awarded in 10 states – Alaska, Arizona, California, Connecticut, Louisiana, Michigan, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, South Dakota, and Washington. They will fund internet use and adoption projects to improve healthcare, workforce development, education, housing, and social services in tribal communities. For example, the Gila River Indian Community grant will assist in telehealth expansion, distance learning opportunities and digital inclusion efforts.

More information on these awards is provided in the table below. NTIA has now made a total of 34 awards totaling about $83 million in funding through the Tribal Broadband Connectivity Program. These awards are part of the Biden Administration’s whole-of-government effort to connect everyone in America with affordable, reliable, high-speed internet.

“For far too long, Tribal Communities have been cut off from the benefits of high-speed internet, as well as the associated economic benefits that come with it. From running a business to taking online classes to scheduling a doctor’s appointment, the internet is a necessary tool for participating in our modern economy, and it’s an absolute injustice that this resource has been deprived from so many Native Americans across our country,” said U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo. “This critical funding will bring affordable, high-speed internet service to Tribes from Alaska to Rhode Island, and many places in between, expanding access to telehealth, distance learning, and workforce development.
Today’s awards reaffirm the Biden-Harris administration’s commitment to ensuring that Tribal communities, and unserved and underserved communities in every state and territory, have the resources they need and deserve to thrive in our increasingly digital economy.”

“Affordable access to the Internet opens a world of life-saving technologies, economic opportunities, remote learning, and countless other essential benefits,” said Alan Davidson, Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Communications and Information. “Our Tribal Broadband Connectivity Program is playing a crucial role in closing the digital divide and expanding internet to tribal communities across America.”

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 high-speed internet grant programs that will build internet infrastructure across the country, create more low-cost internet 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: Delaware Nation
  • Location: Anadarko, OK
  • Type of Project: Use & Adoption
  • Funding Amount: $7,219,710.96

Brief Description: This project proposes to address key challenges impeding the Delaware Nation’s ability to provide internet service and equipment for Tribal members. The project will upgrade capacity at specific community anchor institutions and provide internet equipment and service to Tribal members focused on broadband adoption activities, including telehealth, distance learning, workforce development, and digital inclusion efforts.

This is the LARGEST grant Delaware Nation has EVER been rewarded!