As the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) nears the end of its first $1.98 billion funding opportunity for the Tribal Broadband Connectivity Program, Tribal Business News takes a closer look at the progress of awardees.
The program, created by the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, aims to close the digital divide on tribal reservations where more than half of Indian Country remains on unacceptably slow internet connections or offline entirely.
Initially the TBCP received $980 million to support tribal broadband projects, including adoption assistance (such as purchasing laptops or hotspots,) technical assistance, and infrastructure. After the funding opportunity attracted $5 billion in project proposals, Congress allocated a further $2 billion to the program: $1 billion attached to the original funding, and $1 billion for a second funding opportunity yet to be announced.
Every week in 2023, Tribal Business News will spotlight a Tribe that’s received a TBCP award and provide an update on the project’s progress and its impact on the community.