The National Telecommunications and Information Administration announced almost $4 million in tribal broadband grants on Thursday. The awards bring the total amount of funding awarded under the Tribal Broadband Connectivity Program close to $2 billion.
Eight grants totaling $3,998,000 will be distributed to eight tribes in California, Idaho, Kansas, New Mexico and Washington — an investment that will “improve internet access across six states and give tribes the connectivity they need to work, learn and access healthcare,” Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo said in a press release.
“We are excited for the opportunity to provide our tribal members with more reliable, high-speed internet access,” said Tim Rhodd, chairman of the Iowa Tribe of Kansas and Nebraska, in a statement shared by the NTIA.
The tribe received $498,000 from the tribal broadband program, funds that will “have a positive impact on our youth and their education, our elders and their social connection, and our tribe’s efforts for increased network sovereignty,” Rhodd said.
The NTIA has so far awarded $1.78 billion to 191 tribal entities under the Tribal Broadband Connectivity Program, 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 the Biden administration’s Internet for All initiative.
A second Notice of Funding Opportunity for an additional round of funding from the program is expected to be announced in the next few weeks.