Economic Development Administration (Department of Commerce)

US Department of Commerce Invests $3.1 Million in American Rescue Plan Funds for Chickasaw Nation Business Connectivity

The US Department of Commerce's Department of Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $3.1 million grant to the Chickasaw Nation of Oklahoma (Ada) to build a fixed wireless high-speed internet network. This grant is funded by the American Rescue Plan (ARPA) Indigenous Communities program. This project will provide expanded, high-speed internet access to the Tribal community, promoting entrepreneurship and workforce development. This project was made possible by the regional planning efforts led by the Southern Oklahoma Development Association (SODA).

Expanding Broadband Access Connects the Cherokee Past and Future

In the modern world, high-speed internet access has become an essential utility, just like water, gas and electricity. All those living on the Cherokee Nation Reservation need the ability to participate in the digital economy. Many Americans now take for granted services like telehealth, remote work and access to the vast amount of information and resources for learning and communication online. Unfortunately, broadband access on tribal reservations has badly lagged behind the rest of the country.

Economic Development Administration Invests $2.5 Million in American Rescue Plan Funds to Boost Broadband in Southwest Louisiana

The Commerce Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $2.5 million grant to Lafayette City (LA) Parish Consolidated Government, doing business as LUS Fiber, to establish high-speed internet connectivity in support of business and job growth in Jennings (LA). This grant is funded by the American Rescue Plan. This project will construct ten miles of conduit and fiber optic cable to connect the medical and business district in Jennings.

Economic Development Administration Invests $1.8 Million in Increasing Broadband Access in Waterloo, Iowa

The Commerce Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $1.8 million grant to the city of Waterloo (IA) to expand internet connectivity for the city’s business corridor. This grant is funded by the American Rescue Plan. This project will construct a middle mile fiber network, supporting business growth, telemedicine connectivity, and virtual educational opportunities.

Biden-Harris Administration Awards $29.3 Million to the Native Village of Port Lions, Alaska

The Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) has awarded a $29.3 million Tribal Broadband Connectivity Program (TBCP) grant to the Native Village of Port Lions, Alaska. This grant will fund a new fiber-optic high-speed Internet network capable of Gigabit speeds. The proposed project will directly connect 930 unserved Native American households that previously had no connectivity to high-speed Internet as well as businesses and anchor institutions. NTIA has now made 70 awards totaling $755,737,402.24 in funding through the TBCP.

Digital Divide: Tribal Communities Are Undercounted, Underserved

When broadband fails to reach indigenous tribes, the result is not only a lack of connectivity but also a scarcity of data that essentially masks their needs from the government. The digital divide disproportionately affects underserved populations, and for Tribal communities, it is exacerbated by jurisdictional challenges, geographic coverage limitations, and a lack of affordability, said Traci Morris, executive director of the American Indian Policy Institute (AIPI).

Department of Commerce Invests $2.7 Million in American Rescue Plan Funds for Expansion of High-Speed Internet in Rural California

The Commerce Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) awarded a $2.7 million grant to Golden State Finance Authority, Sacramento, California, for high-speed internet planning. This grant is funded by the American Rescue Plan. This project will support the development of a strategic plan to guide the expansion of high-speed internet across 26 rural counties of California. This EDA grant will be matched with $1.2 million in local funds and is expected to generate $400 million in private investment, according to grantee estimates.

US Department of Commerce Invests $4.5 Million to Increase High-Speed Internet Connectivity in Idaho

The Commerce Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) awarded a $4.5 million Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act Recovery Assistance grant to the Port of Lewiston, Lewiston, Idaho, to expand internet connectivity for commerce, public health and safety and learning in North Central Idaho. This project will support the construction of a 95-mile segment of fiberoptic cable running from Moscow to Grangeville. This EDA grant will be matched with $1.1 million in local funds and is expected to create 120 jobs, according to grantee estimates.