Twenty-three more Tribal entities have been awarded more than $600 million in the latest round of the Biden-Harris Administration’s “Internet for All” initiative, according to a press release published on Oct. 11.
The Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration’s (NTIA) grants will expand high-speed Internet network deployment and digital skills training to improve access to education, jobs, and healthcare on Tribal lands.
Biden’s Tribal Broadband Connectivity Program is funded under his Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and has thus far awarded $1.35 billion to 94 Tribal entities – leaving about half of the money left, according to NTIA, to give away on a rolling basis this fall.
“We are making an historic investment in Tribal communities to ensure reliable, affordable high-speed Internet for all,” said Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo.
The new grants are being awarded in fifteen states – Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Kansas, Minnesota, Montana, North Dakota, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Oregon, Texas, Utah, Washington, and Wisconsin.
According to the press release, these awards are part of the Biden Administration’s commitment and effort to connect everyone in America – including Native Americans and Alaskan Natives.
With this recent $601.6 million investment in broadband for Tribal communities, 42,268 unserved Native American households that previously had no connectivity to high-speed Internet as well as businesses and anchor institutions will be directly connected. Additionally, the 23 grants will create 1,073 new jobs.
“These grants – made possible by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law – underscore President Biden’s commitment to closing the digital divide in the United States, especially within Tribal lands,” said Raimondo. “Today’s awards will not only build high-speed Internet capacity within Tribal Nations, but also bring digital opportunities for good-paying jobs, education, and healthcare.”