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Department of Commerce’s NTIA Awards Additional $1M in Grants to Tribal Groups Seeking to Expand Broadband


February 28, 2022

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WASHINGTON – The Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) announced today it has awarded two additional grants as part of the Tribal Broadband Connectivity Program. These grants, totaling nearly $1 million, are being awarded to Pinoleville Pomo Nation in California and the Ketchikan Indian Community in Alaska.

These grants will fund broadband use and adoption projects to improve healthcare, workforce development, education, housing, and social services in these communities. More information on these awards is provided in the table below. NTIA has now made a total of 10 awards totaling more than $4.8M in funding through the Tribal Broadband Connectivity Program. 

NTIA received more than 300 applications during the program’s application window, which closed on Sept. 1, 2021. The Tribal Broadband Connectivity Program will announce additional awards on a rolling basis as they go through NTIA’s review process. 

“Tribal communities in Alaska and California continue to face barriers to broadband access and digital inclusion. These grants are bringing us one step closer to eliminating those barriers,” said Alan Davidson, Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Communications and Information. “Today’s awards represent another milestone in our journey to close the digital divide and provide these communities with the resources they need to thrive in the 21st century.”    

The Tribal Broadband Connectivity Program, which was funded by the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 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 United States. 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
Pinoleville Pomo Nation Mendocino, Lake, and Sonoma Counties of California Broadband Use and Adoption $496,977 This project will assist Native American Tribal citizens and community members in developing programs and resources to address COVID-19 related concerns and build capacity to use broadband to provide ongoing and sustainable benefits to telehealth, remote learning, telework, entrepreneurship, economic growth, job creation, and serving community anchor institutions.
Ketchikan Indian Community

Ketchikan, Alaska

Broadband Use and Adoption $500,000 This project will fund upgraded equipment for qualifying broadband services at 6 facilities owned by the Ketchikan Indian Community. These facilities are used to deliver healthcare, workforce development, education, housing, social services, behavioral health, natural resources, and other services that would benefit from improved broadband quality and accessibility.