Biden Admin Awards $77M To Expand Internet Access for Dozens of Tribes

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) announced that it has awarded 19 grants as part of the Tribal Broadband Connectivity Program. Andy Berke, NTIA’s Special Representative for Broadband, announced the grants at an event in the Gila River Indian Community in Arizona.

The grants, totaling nearly $77 million, are being awarded in 10 states – Alaska, Arizona, California, Connecticut, Louisiana, Michigan, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, South Dakota, and Washington. They will fund internet use and adoption projects to improve health care, workforce development, education, housing, and social services in tribal communities. For example, the Gila River Indian Community grant will assist in telehealth expansion, distance learning opportunities and digital inclusion efforts.

NTIA has now made a total of 34 awards totaling about $83 million in funding through the Tribal Broadband Connectivity Program. These awards are part of the Biden Administration’s whole-of-government effort to connect everyone in America with affordable, reliable, high-speed internet.  

“For far too long, tribal communities have been cut off from the benefits of high-speed internet, as well as the associated economic benefits that come with it,” said U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo. “From running a business to taking online classes to scheduling a doctor’s appointment, the internet is a necessary tool for participating in our modern economy, and it’s an absolute injustice that this resource has been deprived from so many Native Americans across our country. This critical funding will bring affordable, high-speed internet service to tribes from Alaska to Rhode Island, and many places in between, expanding access to telehealth, distance learning, and workforce development. Today’s awards reaffirm the Biden-Harris administration’s commitment to ensuring that tribal communities, and unserved and underserved communities in every state and territory, have the resources they need and deserve to thrive in our increasingly digital economy.”

“Affordable access to the internet opens a world of life-saving technologies, economic opportunities, remote learning, and countless other essential benefits,” said Alan Davidson, Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Communications and Information. “Our Tribal Broadband Connectivity Program is playing a crucial role in closing the digital divide and expanding internet to tribal communities across America.”     

The Tribal Broadband Connectivity Program, which was funded by the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021, makes $980 million available for grants to eligible Native American, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian entities for broadband deployment, digital inclusion, workforce development, telehealth, and distance learning.  

President Biden’s recently enacted Bipartisan Infrastructure Law provides an additional $2 billion in funding for the program, as part of a historic $65 billion investment to expand broadband in communities across the U.S. Using resources provided by the law, NTIA is preparing to launch a series of new high-speed internet grant programs that will build internet infrastructure across the country, create more low-cost internet service options, and address the digital equity and inclusion needs in our communities. 

Additional broadband funding may be available through the Department of Treasury’s American Rescue Plan Funds. The Broadband USA Federal Funding Guide  also compiles federal funding opportunities for expanding and improving broadband access.

ApplicantLocationFunding Amount
Alaska Federation of NativesState of Alaska $35,102,141.00
Cape Fox CorporationKetchikan, AK$1,901,262.82
Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe Telephone AuthorityEagle Butte, SD$2,367,685.00
Cowlitz Indian TribeLongview, WA$7,580,563.59
Coyote Valley Band of Pomo IndiansRedwood Valley, CA$596,796.00
Delaware NationAnadarko, OK$7,219,710.96
Flandreau Santee Sioux TribeFlandreau, SD$2,477,508.60
Gila River Indian CommunityGila River, AZ$4,477,345.00
Kotzebue IRAKotzebue, AK$2,500,000.00
Mashantucket Pequot Tribal NationMashantucket, CT$493,008.00
Narragansett Indian TribeCharlestown, RI$2,498,250.00
Nottawaseppi Huron Band of the PotawatomiFulton, MI$1,205,764.00
Pauma Band of Luiseno IndiansPauma Valley, CA$498,380.00
Samish Indian NationAnacortes, WA$584,800.00
Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate of the Lake Traverse ReservationAgency Village, SD$1,847,628.00
Skagway Traditional CouncilSkagway, AK$2,044,600.00
Tunica-Biloxi Tribe of LouisianaMarksville, LA$2,499,947.00
United Urban Indian Council Inc.Oklahoma City, OK$500,000.00
Viejas Band of Kumeyaay IndiansAlpine, CA$592,110.00