Biden-Harris Administration Announces More Than $73 Million in High-Speed Internet Grants for Tribal Lands

The Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) announced it has awarded nine grants as part of the Tribal Broadband Connectivity Program (TBCP). These new grants, totaling more than $73 million, bring the total of the program to $1.655 billion awarded to 121 Tribal entities.

Biden-Harris Administration Launches New Initiatives to Modernize Electromagnetic Spectrum Access and Technological Resources on Tribal Lands

The Departments of the Interior and Commerce and the Federal Communications Commission announced a new Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to advance electromagnetic spectrum access opportunities and the deployment of broadband and other wireless services on Tribal lands.

A Year One Update on the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act: Connecting Tribal Communities

The digital divide on Tribal lands includes broadband access, adoption, and application. On June 22, 2022, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) released an assessment of federal efforts to increase Tribal broadband internet connectivity in the U.S. In the report, the GAO observed that connectivity in Tribal nations still lags behind the United States significantly and that Tribal Nations need more resources to overcome barriers to sustainable broadband access, adoption and application on their lands.

Biden-Harris Administration Commits More Than $224 Million in High-Speed Internet Grants for Tribal Lands

The Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) has awarded 18 grants as part of the Tribal Broadband Connectivity Program (TBCP). These new grants, totaling $224,479,717.83, bring the total of the program to $1.5 billion awarded to 112 Tribal entities. With funding from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), these grants will expand high-speed Internet network deployment and digital skills training to improve access to education, jobs, and healthcare on Tribal lands.

Groups Urge FCC to Advance Policies for Broadband-Enabling Infrastructure in Tribal Regions

On November 9, 2022, a group of organizations met with the Federal Communications Commission's Office of Native Affairs and Policy to discuss the need for policies for broadband-enabling infrastructure in Tribal regions.

Collaborating With Philanthropy to Address the Digital Divide in Native American Communities

Tribal lands and Native American communities are some of the least connected places in the United States. Infrastructure deployment lags behind that in other rural communities. Only 46.6 percent of housing units on rural tribal lands have access to broadband service. And even when they are connected, households on tribal lands tend to pay more for basic broadband plans and receive lower speeds.

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).

The Broadband Tribal Gap: An Empirical Evaluation

This study focuses on broadband deployment over the years 2014- 2020 in Tribal and non-Tribal census tracts using the Federal Communications Commission’s Form 477 data to quantify progress. This “Tribal Gap” is measured as the difference in average broadband availability between Tribal and non-Tribal census tracts. Unmatched and matched samples are used, and a sample of census tracts within 30 miles of a Tribal area is also analyzed with and without matching.

Dilkon Chapter awarded $33 million to address broadband needs

The National Telecommunication and Information Administration (NTIA) awarded the Dilkon Chapter almost $34 million in grants to address broadband needs as part of the Tribal Broadband Connectivity Program (TBCP). Awarded funds will go toward the Broadband Infrastructure Deployment project to install fiber, directly connecting 3,643 unserved Native American households, anchor institutions, and businesses. Additionally, the installation will facilitate a minimum of 25/3 Mbps wireless service.

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.