The Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) announced $143.6 million in funds awarded from the Internet for All Initiative’s Tribal Broadband Connectivity Program (TBCP) to Tribes in California and Washington.
The funding – made possible by the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 – will provide high-speed internet infrastructure for the Hoopa Valley Tribal Council and Yurok Telecommunications Corp. in California, and the Spokane Tribe of Indians in Washington.
“Our administration’s vision is to connect all Native communities with the Internet and with the opportunity that comes along with access to affordable internet – the opportunity to live healthier, happier, and more prosperous lives,” Vice President Kamala Harris said during a press call announcing the investments. “And we will continue to fight every day to make that vision a reality.”
This announcement is part of a more than $500 million package going to Tribal applicants this month. NTIA also recently announced another $18.9 million TBCP grant to the Inter-Tribal Council of Nevada (ITCN).
To date, NTIA has made over 64 awards totaling more than $620 million in funding through the Tribal Broadband Connectivity Program.
“High-speed internet helps people stay connected, allows businesses to thrive, and gives communities the opportunity to stay informed,” said Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo. “Closing the digital divide in Indian country is a crucial step for protecting local customs and traditions while invigorating the opportunities for global engagement and growth. The announcements we’re making over the next month are an exciting step on the journey.”
Earlier this month, NTIA announced that President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law – approved by Congress in November 2021 – doubled the size of the Tribal Broadband Connectivity Program to $1.98 billion.