Second Round of Tribal Broadband Connectivity Program to Provide $980M

Preference will be given to applications that are cost effective.

Second Round of Tribal Broadband Connectivity Program to Provide $980M
Photo of Alan Davidson of NTIA

WASHINGTON, July 27, 2023 – The National Telecommunications and Information Administration announced Thursday that the second round of funding through the Tribal Broadband Connectivity Program will provide tribes with $980 million for the deployment of internet infrastructure, affordability programs, telehealth and distance learning initiatives.

The funding is made possible through the Infrastructure, Investment and Jobs Act and the Consolidated Appropriations Act, which provides $3 billion to support tribal infrastructure. The second round of funding builds on the nearly $1.78 billion that has already been deployed, which includes the nearly $4 million NTIA announced last week that will go to eight tribes.

Tribes will be authorized to use the funds to build out network infrastructure and support use and adoption programs, including supplying laptops or covering monthly bills for tribal citizens. Applications will be open until January 2024.

“This is our generation’s big infrastructure moment. This is our chance to connect everyone in America with the tools they need to thrive in the modern digital economy,” said NTIA Administrator Alan Davidson in a press call.

Davidson said that the funding opportunity will encourage recipients to use the updated Federal Communications Commission’s connectivity data in its national broadband map and doubled the timeframe for submitting applications. Previously, tribes were given only three months to submit proposals. Additionally, applicants are required to submit certification regarding their compliance with cybersecurity and supply chain risk management requirements. New requirements for disclosures, reporting, whistleblower protection and enforcement have also been added.

The program will be available to all tribes, with preference given to applicants who do not receive an award under the original funding opportunity and projects that are “cost-effective,” said Davidson. “We know we need to use the funds available to us wisely and carefully. We’ve encouraged states and tribes to be cost-effective and it’s a major factor for us.”

According to the NTIA’s announcement, the agency expects to award single applicants within $1 and 50 million for infrastructure deployment projects. It expects to allocate $100,000 to $2.5 million for internet adoption and use projects.

“These investments will provide new opportunities for Tribal communities to participate in telehealth, online education, remote work and countless other benefits that internet access can bring,” Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo said. “Through President Biden’s Investing in America Agenda, we are providing the resources necessary to deploy high-quality, high-speed Internet service across tribal lands.”

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