On August 11 and 12, staff from NTIA’s BroadbandUSA program held webinars to provide attendees an opportunity to ask questions related to Tribal Broadband Connectivity Program (TBCP) applications as the application deadline approaches. The TBCP intends to make $980 million in awards to Tribal governments to be used for broadband deployment on Tribal lands, as well as for telehealth, distance learning, broadband affordability, and digital inclusion.
In these webinars, the BroadbandUSA staff reviewed the expected timeline of the grant program, as well as some of the top questions and answers from the TBCP team and their partners.
This webinar was hosted by Margaret Gutierrez, National Tribal Government Liaison with the First Responder Network Authority, and presenters included:
- Vanesscia Cresci - Broadband Program Specialist, NTIA
- Crystal Hottowe - Broadband Program Specialist, NTIA
- Amanda Pereira - Environmental/NEPA Specialist, First Responder Network Authority
- Jana Waters - Realty Specialist, Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA)
- Nick Courtney - Broadband Program Specialist, NTIA
- Adam Geisler - National Tribal Government Liaison, First Responder Network Authority
- Gabe Montoya - Broadband Program Specialist, NTIA
To kick off the webinar, Adam Geisler provided details on the expected timeline of the Tribal Broadband Connectivity Program. Once applications are complete, they must be submitted no later than September 1, 2021, 11:59 p.m. PDT. Applications can be submitted through grants.gov, email, postal mail, or courier service. Following the application deadline, NTIA will review applications in accordance with the Notice of Funding Opportunity, with the start date for awards expected to begin December 13, 2021 at the earliest. For more information, grant application requirements are listed in the “Content and Form of Applications” section starting on page 14 of the Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO).
The NTIA team and their partners then presented the top questions and answers seen from applicants. These questions covered a range of topics including the National Environmental Policy Act requirements, eligibility information, and other common questions about the NOFO and grant application. The remainder of the webinar was dedicated to a robust, live Q&A session with the audience to address questions from those in attendance as they continue putting together their applications.
Reminder of important dates and timelines:
- Applications submitted through grants.gov or by electronic mail must be received no later than 11:59 p.m. PDT on September 1, 2021, and applications submitted by postal mail or courier service must be postmarked or show evidence of mailing no later than 11:59 p.m. PDT on September 1, 2021.
- Eligible entities are required to complete their projects within one year of their receipt of grant funds. However, for infrastructure projects, the Assistant Secretary may extend the award period if the entity provides certification of need.
Technical assistance will be offered through regional entities on a monthly basis throughout the application window. Additionally, prospective applicants can reach out to Adam Geisler (firstname.lastname@example.org) for programmatic inquiries and Nicola Bell (Nicola.Bell@noaa.gov) for grant management inquiries.
NTIA is seeking qualified volunteers for merit reviews for the Tribal Broadband Connectivity Program. See the BroadbandUSA website for more information about how to volunteer.
More information about the Tribal Broadband Connectivity Program, including answers to more frequently asked questions and requirements for grant applications, can be found on the program’s page on BroadbandUSA’s website. Also, please visit the website for:
- Video, slides, and transcript for this webinar, Tribal Broadband Connectivity Webinar, Sessions 5a and 5b;
- BroadbandUSA’s Tribal Nations page, housing resources relevant to Tribal governments;
- More information on upcoming webinar sessions; and
- More information about all three of NTIA’s grant programs, including Notices of Funding Opportunity and Frequently Asked Questions, as it becomes available.