The push to bring broadband to Native American lands took a step forward recently when the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA} awarded the first three grants from its Tribal Broadband Connectivity Program. These awards, totaling nearly $1.4 million, begin a process that will make available close to $1.0 billion for the provision and improvement of tribal broadband.
Included are two grants to support broadband services, computers and training, and another for a broadband training project. Recipients include Taos Pueblo in New Mexico, the Upper Mattaponi Tribe in Virginia, and the Sokaogon Chippewa Community in Wisconsin.
There have been 280 additional requests submitted to NTIA during the application window, which closed September 21, 2021. There will be no problem for NTIA to find deserving tribal applicants to share the remaining $979 million earmarked to bring first rate broadband to deserving Native American territories.
This appears to be one more very beneficial program, along with similar FCC efforts, to bring quality, 21st century broadband services to tribal America.
We applaud our federal government’s attempts to bring all of the poorer, less advanced regions of our nation up to the standards of their wealthier counterparts.