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Biden-Harris Administration Announces Nearly $3.5 Million in Internet for All Grants to Tribal Lands

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 24, 2023
News Media Contact
NTIA, Office of Public Affairs

WASHINGTON – The Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) announced today it has awarded seven grants totaling $3,449,227.56 to seven Tribal entities as part of the Tribal Broadband Connectivity Program (TBCP).  

With funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, these new grants bring the total of the program to more than $1.79 billion awarded to 198 Tribal entities. Record investments in high-speed Internet deployment are a key part of President Biden’s Investing in America agenda.  

This funding from President Biden’s Internet for All initiative will help directly connect Tribal households and businesses to high-speed Internet service, plan for future Internet infrastructure investments, and upgrade network equipment.

“President Biden’s Investing in America Agenda is helping to close the digital divide on tribal lands,” said Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo. “These grants will reduce barriers to Internet access for tribal communities across five states, connecting them to the education, good-paying jobs, and health care they need to succeed in our 21st century economy.”

“Reliable and affordable Internet access is critical for Tribal communities to thrive in today’s digital economy,” said Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Communications and Information Alan Davidson. “These grants will increase high-speed Internet coverage and expand existing infrastructure to ensure that Tribes are connected to the resources and benefits they need online.” 

These awards are part of the Biden Administration’s commitment to nation-to-nation engagement and an effort to help connect everyone in America, including Native American, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian communities to affordable, reliable, high-speed Internet service.

Last month, NTIA announced a second Notice of Funding Opportunity that will make up to approximately $980 million in funding from the TBCP program. Applications must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time (ET) on January 23, 2024. 

The Tribal Broadband Connectivity Program is a nearly $3 billion grant program and part of the Biden-Harris Administration’s Internet for All Initiative. The funds are made available from President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law ($2 billion) and the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 ($980 million). The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law provides a historic $65 billion in funding to connect everyone in America. 

These grants are part of the TBCP’s equitable distribution process in recognition of the federal Indian trust responsibility and fiduciary obligation to Tribal governments. This process, also laid out in statute and in NTIA’s first TBCP Notice of Funding Opportunity, is intended to ensure that program funding is available to all eligible federally recognized Tribal governments who had a qualifying application. The grants listed below allow for Tribal communities to move forward in planning for future high-speed Internet infrastructure projects or promoting Internet use and adoption.

New Mexico

Applicant

State

Award Type

Amount

Description

Pueblo of Pojoaque NM Broadband Infrastructure Deployment

$500,000.00

This Broadband Infrastructure Deployment project will provide affordable, reliable, high-speed Internet service via fiber to 75 tribal households.

Jenelle Roybal, Pueblo of Pojoaque, Governor
"We are happy to receive this award and it will go a long way towards providing high-speed Internet to our Tribal members. Reliable, high-speed Internet is no longer a wishlist item. It has become a staple utility along with electricity and water. Our children depend on it for their education, our elders depend on it for online medical visits, our businesses depend on it to survive and grow, and our remote workers depend on it for a paycheck.  This grant provides a tremendous boost in completing our broadband projects." 
Nevada

Applicant

State

Award Type

Amount

Description

South Fork Band Council NV Broadband Infrastructure Deployment

$500,000.00

The Broadband Infrastructure Deployment project proposes to deploy a single tower to provide fixed wireless to the Tribal community center and all houses within line of sight. The community center houses the Tribal council chamber, administrative offices, and medical services. This tower will provide access to the uppermost section of the reservation land.

Winnemucca Indian Colony of Nevada NV Broadband Infrastructure Deployment

$500,000.00

This Broadband Infrastructure Deployment project will deploy a tower, shelter/central office, fiber feed to the tower, and procure other equipment needed under this first phase of construction. The project will distribute FTTH fiber cable to the 40 homesites and two public facilities on Colony trust lands. The wireless solution will be capable of connecting tribal homes to fixed wireless service.

Te-Moak Battle Mountain Band NV Broadband Infrastructure Deployment

$500,000.00

This Broadband Infrastructure Deployment project will provide affordable, reliable, high-speed Internet via fiber to 31 tribal households and 8 community anchor institutions.

Jacky Rosen, U.S. Senator, NV 
"Internet connectivity is essential for Nevadans’ daily lives,” said Senator Rosen. “I’m glad to see funding I secured in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will help expand access to high-speed internet for tribes across Nevada. I’ll keep fighting to ensure communities in our state have the resources necessary to bring all Nevadans online." 

James Redmoon, Te-Moak Battle Mountain Band, Tribal Administrator
"The NTIA TBCP funding opportunity of $500,000.00 will be providing fiber to the premise for 31 premises on the Battle Mountain Band New Colony and fiber to the premise at 8 additional premises on the Old Colony. The Battle Mountain Tribal Members will have access to high speed internet in their homes and other locations located on the Battle Mountain Band Colony."

Judy Rojo, Winnemucca Indian Colony, Chairwoman 
"The Winnemucca Indian Colony of Nevada is excited to participate in the Tribal Broadband Connectivity Program as it will provide use access to so many services never available to us in the past. This funding will allow us to provide sustainable, expandable, high-speed internet service to the residents of our Colony and some 600 more Native Americans in our service area. We will utilize fiber-to-the-home on our Colony and fiber-fed WISP to those off-Colony who can’t readily reach on the ground. We’ve had electricity on our Colony forr quite a while and soon we will enter a new era and have access to high-speed communications and services through reliable and affordable internet access. So much opportunity...thank you, NTIA."
Oklahoma

Applicant

State

Award Type

Amount

Description

Iowa Tribe of Oklahoma OK Broadband Infrastructure Deployment

$500,000.00

This award funds the set up one wireless site near the tribal headquarters in Perkins, Oklahoma and completes the RF Engineering Design for a hybrid fiber/wireless Broadband System Deployment.

Oregon

Applicant

State

Award Type

Amount

Description

Cow Creek Band of Umpqua Tribe of Indians OR Planning, Engineering, Feasibility, and Sustainability

$482,325.00

This Planning, Engineering, Feasibility, and Sustainability project will create a complete engineering, regulatory, and design plan for new broadband of 2.5 GHz Spectrum capacity to the unserved Tribal lands in Douglas County, Oregon. This will enable effective wireless delivery of 25/3 Mbps broadband service to all residents, businesses, and anchor institutions in the community.

Ron Wyden, U.S. Senator, WA
"Federal investment in fast and dependable broadband is a must-do infrastructure priority, and those resources must include Tribal communities in Oregon and nationwide. I’m gratified the Cow Creek has earned these federal dollars, and I’ll keep working to ensure all of Oregon’s Tribal communities have that same broadband investment to link families to health care, children to school resources, and workers to good-paying jobs."

Statement from the Cow Creek Band of Umpqua Tribe of Indians 
"The Cow Creek Band of Umpqua Tribe of Indians is honored to receive the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) broadband grant award of $482,325.00.  The funds will be used to develop shovel-ready projects in southern Douglas County, Oregon that in the future will bring broadband access to Tribal member housing and improved connectivity for all residents in this rural area. The projects will support Cow Creek Umpqua Tribal members with reliable broadband for improved education and participation, as well as access to critical services in an underserved community. The projects will be the basis for future investments with a goal of reaching all Tribal members in the region by providing them a pathway to digital engagement." 
Washington

Applicant

State

Award Type

Amount

Description

Quileute Tribe of the Quileute Reservation WA Broadband Infrastructure Deployment

$466,902.56

This Broadband Infrastructure Deployment project proposes to connect 45 unserved Tribal households, 10 Tribal businesses, and five community anchor institutions to qualifying service of 1 Gbps symmetrical via a 1.2-mile buried and aerial fiber network to be incorporated into the local incumbent's existing network.


Maria Cantwell, U.S. Senator, WA
“For far too long, our rural Tribal communities have lacked the broadband connectivity needed to drive economic growth, expand educational opportunities, and enhance critical community services. This award will help the Quileute Tribe bring high-speed internet—for the first time ever—to dozens of homes and businesses in the hardest-to-reach areas. It will also build out broadband infrastructure to vital community facilities, including the Quileute Health Clinic and the Tribe’s Police and Fire Departments.” 

Internet for All and Investing in America

The 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 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 (ACP) 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 to sign-up.

For more information on the Biden-Harris Administration’s high-speed Internet programs, please visit InternetforAll.gov.

President Biden’s Investing in America agenda and his vision for growing the economy from the middle out and bottom up – Bidenomics – is creating opportunity across the country. Already, as a result of legislation passed by President Biden, the Biden-Harris Administration has awarded $260 billion in funding for 35,000 infrastructure projects across the country. Companies have announced over $500 billion in investments in the United States since President Biden took office, and the Administration has helped over 20 million households save money on their internet costs.

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About the National Telecommunications and Information Administration 

The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), part of the U.S. Department of Commerce, is the Executive Branch agency that advises the President on telecommunications and information policy issues. NTIA’s programs and policymaking focus largely on expanding broadband Internet access and adoption in America, expanding the use of spectrum by all users, advancing public safety communications, and ensuring that the Internet remains an engine for innovation and economic growth.