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What They're Saying: Biden-Harris Administration Announces More Than $5.8 Million in Internet for All Grants to Tribal Lands

The Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) announced today it has awarded grants totaling $5,841,477.13 to 12 tribes as part of the Tribal Broadband Connectivity Program (TBCP).   

These grants from President Biden’s Internet for All initiative will help reduce monthly Internet service costs, plan for future Internet infrastructure investments, upgrade network equipment, and purchase devices.  

Here’s what they are saying about today’s Tribal Broadband Connectivity Program grants: 





Blue Lake Rancheria

Jason Ramos, Blue Lake Rancheria, Tribal Administrator and Council Member 

“The Blue Lake Rancheria (BLR) is grateful to have received a grant award for $493,000 issued by The Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration. The Tribal Broadband Connectivity Program will help modernize BLR’s online connectivity, which is important for future economic development and educational related opportunities for tribal members and the local community.” 

Bridgeport Indian Colony

Herbert Glazier, Bridgeport Indian Colony, Chairman

“I am writing this statement on behalf of Bridgeport Indian Colony. This funding would allow the Tribe to better the quality of living on the Tribal Reservation.  There are approximately 24 homes and about several of the homes do not have Internet service.  Personal cell phones usage is being utilized due to the lack of Wi-Fi connection reaching homes. The current Wi-Fi in which the Tribe utilizes is not stable or powerful enough to reach homes that are further away from the Tribal Offices and are on continue to come on and off. 

With the help of this grant, our Tribal Members will be able to have a reliable connectivity in which they will be able to communicate with their doctors through tele-med.  Living in a rural area especially during winter when the weather is extremely hard for transportation or road closures.  An example: Highway 395 was and continues to be on a one lane closure southbound and it is difficult for Tribal Members to get to Bishop, California where our Indian Health Services are located for their service needs.  Also, during winter and extreme weather conditions, school closures happen, and the students have to have means of communication so they can attend virtual classes.” 

Kashia Band of Pomo Indians of the Stewarts Point Rancheria

Reno Keoni Franklin, Kashia Band of Pomo Indians of the Stewarts Point Rancheria, Chairman 

"The NTIA Broadband grant funding will make a huge difference for our Tribal community.  We will be able to bring broadband service to our new transitional housing facility, provide iPads for all our Elders so they can connect with family and telehealth providers, connect to Electronic Health Records while making home health visits and help hundreds of our most disadvantaged Tribal Members afford the high cost of broadband service in Sonoma County.  We appreciate the commitment of the Tribal Broadband Connectivity and Nation-to-Nation Coordination Division at NTIA as we worked together to reach this point, and we are eager to begin deploying these funds to improve our Tribal Members' quality of life as soon as possible!" 

Resighini Rancheria

Fawn Murphy, Resighini Rancheria, Chairperson

“As a rural Tribe where zero households have access to Internet and our Tribal office connectivity is severally lacking, we are very excited to receive these planning dollars to identify a path forward to close the digital divide for our Tribal community.” 

The Wiyot Tribe

Theodore Hernandez, The Wiyot Tribe, Tribal Chair

“Internet is a basic utility connecting us to the digital world, our people have been faced with high prices and lack of access for a long time, and that prevents inclusion in our modern era.  Access to highspeed Internet will improve access to education for our school age and college students, and we will be able to provide better medical services through telehealth at our Wellness center.” 




Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation 

Laura Kelly, Governor, Kansas  

“The Tribal Broadband Connectivity Program is accelerating my administration’s efforts to connect every Kansan with affordable, high-speed Internet access. This funding will ensure the Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation can use the internet for services like telehealth appointments, remote work, distance learning, and more -- all of which are crucial to moving Kansas communities forward in the 21st century.”  





Gary Peters, U.S. Senator, Michigan 

“Reliable internet is critical to keeping our communities connected and strong. That’s why I’m proud to have supported the legislation providing this funding to lay the groundwork for expanding high-speed internet in these communities, which will help ensure tribal members can access telehealth and educational and economic opportunities.” 

Gretchen Whitmer, Governor, Michigan

“Today the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians and the Bay Mills Indian Community secured grants from the National Telecommunications and Information Administration to offer free high-speed internet to over 1,100 tribal households, lowering their costs and putting money back in their pockets,” said Governor Whitmer. “These investments will help students access online resources to complete assignments, help small business owners conduct critical operations, help families access telehealth and other essential online services, and upgrade high-speed internet infrastructure by prepping areas for fiber optic service. Since I took office, we have expanded high-speed internet access to more than 23,000 home and businesses and today’s grant will help thousands more families get online. Let’s keep working together to close the digital divide and lower costs for more families.” 

Garlin Gilchrist II, Lt. Governor, Michigan

“Affordable high speed internet is the key to unlock access to education, economic opportunity, and more for Michiganders,” said Lt. Governor Garlin Gilchrist II. “This grant to benefit over 1,100 tribal households in northern Michigan will close the digital divide and ensure more people can access the resources they need to thrive. Governor Whitmer and I are proud of the progress we have made connecting more than 23,000 unserved locations to high-speed internet, and we will keep working with our federal and local partners to connect every Michigander to opportunity and prosperity.”

Bay Mills Indian Community

Whitney Gravelle, Bay Mills Indian Community, President 

“The NTIA Connectivity Program has only begun to address the broadband disparities in Indian Country. With these funds, Bay Mills Indian Community looks forward to beginning the long process to upgrading critical information technology infrastructure within our rural community. Tribal Nations provide many critical services to multiple surrounding communities and populations, and as such Tribal Nation’s should also be empowered to provide broadband. We are hopeful that the rollout of Phase II of the NTIA Connectivity Program will provide equity and efficiency so that Tribal Nations are not left behind in the 21st Century.”




Comanche Nation

Matt Pinnell, Lieutenant Governor, Oklahoma

"I am thrilled that the Comanche Nation was awarded the Tribal Broadband Connectivity Program grant to advance broadband expansion. Broadband is essential to economic development and one of the most critical infrastructure challenges of our time. The Comanche Nation's project will help expand Internet access in Oklahoma, providing crucial opportunities and economic development to our communities." 

George Tahdooahnippah, Comanche Nation CEO Numunu Holdings on behalf of the Comanche Nation and Comanche Nation Enterprises Inc.

“The benefits would be invaluable to our people. From language revitalization to online classes for tribal members, high-speed Internet would be for the betterment of the Comanche Nation.”




Burns Paiute Tribe

Jonathan Mocan, Burns Paiute Tribe, IT Director

“Without this NTIA funding there is a real chance of critical failure in our current infrastructure as well as no way that we could extend high-speed Internet to Tribal membership. This project will help ensure that the Burns Paiute Tribe has reliable access to high-speed Internet for the next twenty years. It opens opportunities to the Tribe that would otherwise be closed off due to a wide range of reasons and most importantly it will give the Tribe the tools they need to move forward in a society that is becoming more and more connected."




Nisqually Indian Tribe

Willie Frank III, Nisqually Indian Tribe, Chairman

“The Nisqually Tribe has received notice of a $500,000 grant award from the National Telecommunications and Information Agency to support broadband service development within the Tribe’s homeland and surrounding service area.  

“The Tribe’s multi-year broadband initiative is aimed at delivering state-of-the-art broadband service to underserved areas both within the Nisqually reservation area and within adjacent areas of both Thurston and Pierce counties.

“The NTIA grant will support the purchase and installation of a modular technology center pod to be located on the reservation that will serve as the hub of operations for the proposed open access network. 

“The Tribe will continue to work with its state, federal, and local partners to make true broadband access a reality for the region, and to help close the current digital divide that impacts so many families, institutions, and businesses in the area.   

“Our goal is always to improve services for our people first, but we also want our neighbors to move forward with us. We’re employing Nisqually tribal people and businesses and making improvements in services for many.” 




Oneida Nation

Tammy Baldwin, U.S. Senator, Wisconsin

“The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law is making crucial investments to connect more Wisconsinites with the high-speed Internet families need to run their businesses, attend school, access telemedicine and work remotely. I’m proud to help deliver this investment for the Oneida Nation to increase access to reliable Internet service and allow more Wisconsinites to participate in our economy.” 

Tony Evers, Governor, Wisconsin

“Through state and federal funding, our Administration has made targeted investments that will help provide new or improved access to reliable, high-speed Internet for more than 390,000 homes and businesses across Wisconsin, including on Tribal lands, but there’s still much work left to do. The digital divide is holding our state back, and these additional federal funds will help us move forward on our goals to make sure everyone has access to reliable, affordable Internet and all the opportunities for growth that come with it.” 


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.