NTIA Broadband Programs Announce Grants to Tackle Last-Mile Infrastructure

Recent policy talks have pushed for more focus on middle-mile with future funding from infrastructure bill money.

NTIA Broadband Programs Announce Grants to Tackle Last-Mile Infrastructure
Photo of fiber repeater equipment from June 2019 by Tony Webster

WASHINGTON, March 3, 2022 ­– The Broadband Infrastructure Program of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration announced this past week more than $277 million across over 13 projects primarily targeting last-mile infrastructure expected to connect 133,000 unserved households across 12 states and one U.S. territory.

The commerce agency’s Tribal Broadband Connectivity Program also announced Wednesday a commitment of $1 million to projects focused on connectivity in tribal regions, including the Pinoleville Pomo Nation in California and the Ketchikan Indian Community in Alaska. That program has now disbursed $4.8 million for 10 grants.

The larger funding amount will go to projects in Georgia, Guam, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Texas, Washington, and West Virginia. In a separate release, Consolidated Communications announced its projects in Maine would receive $18.3 million from the agency’s programs.

As the NTIA’s programs have continued to approve grants on a rolling basis, policy discussions such as the agency’s infrastructure bill listening sessions have focused on advocacy for middle-mile funding.

The recently announced projects largely focus on fiber access and additionally target some anchor institutions to increase connectivity, with some middle-mile or transport funding.

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