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WASHINGTON – The Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) announced today it has awarded two grants totaling more than $25.7 million to two Tribal nations - The Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe in Minnesota and the Pueblo of Acoma in New Mexico- as part of the Tribal Broadband Connectivity Program (TBCP).
With funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, these new grants bring the total of the program to over $1.75 billion awarded to 135 Tribal entities.
“The Biden-Harris Administration is committed to closing the digital divide across all Tribal communities,” said U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo. “This investment in high-speed Internet access for the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe in Minnesota and the Pueblo of Acoma in New Mexico will help people in these communities apply for jobs, access healthcare, and further their education online.”
“Connecting every New Mexico community to high-speed broadband, regardless of their zip code, remains a top priority. As Chair of the Subcommittee on Communications, Media, and Broadband,” said Ben Ray Luján, U.S. Senator (NM) “I’m glad to welcome this critical investment of more than $14 million to help install a reliable internet connection to over 1,100 homes. We cannot afford to leave communities like the Pueblo of Acoma without basic necessities like a stable internet connection, which provides essential access to work, further education, and telehealth services.”
These grants from President Biden’s Internet for All initiative will directly connect more than 1,500 unserved Tribal households and community anchor institutions to affordable, reliable, high-speed Internet service.
Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Communications and Information and NTIA Administrator Alan Davidson announced the awards today at NTIA’s Tribal Broadband Leaders Network Summit in Chandler, Arizona.
“Tribal communities often face high barriers to Internet adoption that hinder their ability to thrive in the modern digital economy,” said Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Communications and Information Alan Davidson. “Today’s grants to the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe and the Pueblo of Acoma will reduce these barriers for more than 1,500 Tribal households, connecting them to economic and educational opportunities that many of us take for granted.”
“The Pueblo of Acoma is very honored to receive the Tribal Broadband Connectivity Grant, which will help advance the tribe's technological environment, improve communication, and provide reliable internet services for our people,” said Douglas Patricio, 2nd Lt. Governor for the Pueblo of Acoma “The days of poor to no-service availability will be a thing of the past, and we can catch up with today's technology.”
“It is in the spirit of continued partnership, collaboration, and community that Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe is honored to accept this award,” said Maria Costello, Assistant Commissioner of Administration, Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe.
This award is part of the Biden Administration’s commitment to nation-to-nation engagement and an effort to connect everyone in America, including Native Americans and Alaskan Natives, to affordable, reliable, high-speed Internet service.
The Tribal Broadband Connectivity Program is a nearly $3 billion grant program and part of the Biden-Harris Administration’s Internet for All Initiative. The funds are made available from President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law ($2 billion) and the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 ($980 million). The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law provides a historic $65 billion in funding to connect everyone in America.
President Biden’s Investing in America agenda is growing the American economy from the bottom up and middle-out – from expanding access to high-speed Internet service, to rebuilding our nation’s roads and bridges, to building a clean energy economy that makes our communities more resilient to the impacts of climate change, to creating a manufacturing and innovation boom powered by good-paying jobs that don’t require a four-year degree.
|Applicant||Location||Type of Project||Funding Amount||Brief Description|
|Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe||MN||Broadband Infrastructure Deployment||$11,407,585.00||This Broadband Infrastructure Deployment project proposes to install fiber to directly connect 356 unserved Native American households, 7 unserved Native American businesses, and 10 unserved community anchor institutions with service ranging from 250/250 Mbps to 1000/1000 Mbps.|
|Pueblo of Acoma||NM||Broadband Infrastructure Deployment||$14,346,244.00||This Broadband Infrastructure Deployment project proposes to install fiber to directly connect 1,167 unserved Native American households and anchor institutions with a minimum of 25/3 Mbps service.|
About the National Telecommunications and Information Administration
The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), part of the U.S. Department of Commerce, is the Executive Branch agency that advises the President on telecommunications and information policy issues. NTIA’s programs and policymaking focus largely on expanding broadband Internet access and adoption in America, expanding the use of spectrum by all users, advancing public safety communications, and ensuring that the Internet remains an engine for innovation and economic growth.