The federal government’s Tribal Broadband Connectivity Program awarded in November $224 million for high-speed internet on Tribal lands.
In total, $1.5 billion in grants has been awarded to 112 Tribal entities through the program.
In the current round of funding, tribes in 11 states received grants: Alaska, Arizona, California, Iowa, Minnesota, Montana, New Mexico, Nevada, New York, South Dakota and Virginia.
“This Native American Heritage Month, our Tribal Broadband Connectivity Program is continuing its historic investment in Native communities to ensure reliable, affordable high-speed Internet for all,” said Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo.
Projects vary across the country but include, for example, plans to install fiber directly connecting unserved over 1,000 Kenaitze Indian Tribe households, of which 45% are below the 150% poverty line, with qualifying broadband service at speeds up to 336/36 Mbps.
Another plan will install fixed wireless and deploy low-Earth orbiting, satellite-enabled internet service to connect 14,032 Central Council Tlingit & Haida Indian Tribe members in Alaska.
Tlingit & Haida Fourth Vice President Will Micklin said, “Broadband is essential infrastructure, and in my view, a human right, along with affordable and reliable energy, clean water, wastewater treatment, transportation, health care, housing, and law enforcement & public safety.”
The Tribe is also using the grant to create a voucher program with existing internet service providers to provide access to broadband services to “100% of unserved households and discounted subscriber rates to households with incomes below 150% of the federal poverty annual income threshold.”
The grant program is part of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law that includes a $65 billion investment to expand affordable and reliable high-speed internet access throughout the U.S. to combat the digital divide.
Another program aimed at closing the divide is the Federal Communications Commission’s Affordable Connectivity Program provides a discount of up to $30/mo. toward Internet service for eligible households and up to $75/mo. for households on qualifying Tribal lands. Visit AffordableConnectivity.gov to sign up.
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Written by:Robin Layton
Editor, Broadband Content
Robin Layton is an editor for the broadband marketplace Allconnect. She built her internet industry expertise writing and editing for four years on the site, as well as on Allconnect’s sister site MYMOVE.com. … Read more
Edited by:Camryn Smith
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