Native tribes overload NTIA with broadband funding requests

The National Telecommunications and Information Administration received $2.64 billion in requests for projects, but it only has $980 million to spend this funding round.
laying fiber residential neighborhood
(Getty Images)

As of Thursday, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration has received more than 160 applications for the second notice of funding for its Tribal Broadband Connectivity Program.

The projects from the 160 applications total more than $2.64 billion, but the NTIA only has $980 million for the second installation of funding from the Tribal Broadband Connectivity Program. Applications for the latest round of funds were due by March 22.

“For Tribal communities to thrive in the modern digital economy, they need access to affordable, reliable high-speed internet service,” NTIA Administrator Alan Davidson said in a press release. “The number of applications for our Tribal connectivity program shows that demand remains high for quality internet service in Indian Country.”

Tribal communities have historically lacked access to reliable, high-speed internet due to incomplete broadband coverage and high service costs.


The Tribal Broadband Connectivity Program consists of a $3 billion fund created with $1 billion in funding from a federal appropriations act and $2 billion from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. The program is part of President Joe Biden’s Internet for All initiative.

The NTIA has awarded about $1.8 billion to more than 220 projects aimed at improving internet access for tribal communities across the country.

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