The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) announced it has awarded two grants totaling more than $25.7 million to two Tribal nations – the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe in Minnesota and the Pueblo of Acoma in New Mexico – as part of the Tribal Broadband Connectivity Program (TBCP).
These grants from President Biden’s Internet for All initiative will directly connect more than 1,500 unserved Tribal households and community anchor institutions to affordable, reliable, high-speed internet service, the agency’s press release says.
The Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe received an $11.4 million TBCP grant “to install fiber to directly connect 356 unserved Native American households, 7 unserved Native American businesses, and 10 unserved community anchor institutions.”
NTIA also awarded $14.3 million to the Pueblo of Acoma “to install fiber to directly connect 1,167 unserved Native American households and anchor institutions.”
Administrator Alan Davidson announced the awards at NTIA’s Tribal Broadband Leaders Network Summit in Chandler, Ariz.
“Tribal communities often face high barriers to Internet adoption that hinder their ability to thrive in the modern digital economy,” Davidson said. “Today’s grants to the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe and the Pueblo of Acoma will reduce these barriers for more than 1,500 Tribal households, connecting them to economic and educational opportunities that many of us take for granted.”
With funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, these new grants bring total program awards to over $1.75 billion awarded to 135 Tribal entities. Congress has allocated nearly $3 billion for the program.
“The Biden-Harris Administration is committed to closing the digital divide across all Tribal communities,” U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo said. “This investment in high-speed Internet access for the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe in Minnesota and the Pueblo of Acoma in New Mexico will help people in these communities apply for jobs, access healthcare, and further their education online.”