The National Telecommunications and Information Administration is doubling the size of its Tribal Broadband Connectivity Program, to $1.98 billion. The program is part of the administration’s Internet for All initiative.
NTIA already received more than 300 applications during the application window for over $5 billion in funding requests. That volume and the need to quickly expand broadband on Tribal lands led the agency to allocate the extra money from the bipartisan Infrastructure Law toward the Notice of Funding Opportunity announced in June 2021.
“The response to our Tribal high-speed internet program demonstrated a critical need for improved connectivity on Tribal lands,” said NTIA Administrator Alan Davidson.
The funding period for the Tribal Broadband Connectivity Program closes September 1. The program offers grants to eligible Native American, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian entities for high-speed internet deployment, digital inclusion, workforce development, telehealth, and distance learning. In total, the bipartisan Infrastructure Law provides $65 billion to expand affordable, reliable high-speed internet access across the country.
There is no action required for Tribal entities who applied to the June 2021 funding opportunity. NTIA will continue to announce additional awards on a rolling basis as it moves through its review process.
An additional Notice of Funding Opportunity will be released this fall to solicit applications for the remaining Tribal Broadband Connectivity Program funding. This will allow Tribes who missed out on the first application process a second chance to get involved, according to the NTIA.