Closing the Tribal Connectivity Gap

By Ashley Nguyen

(Updated 8/5/2021)

Closing the Tribal Connectivity Gap

There are 574 Native American Tribes total in the United States. Only half of those living on reservation lands have adequate high-speed internet. Many government agencies such as the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the United States Economic Development Administration (EDA), and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) have had a long mission to help tribal communities stay connected to the rest of the nation. With President Joe Biden's $100 billion in the American Jobs Plan—and Vice President Kamara Harris and Secretary Gina Raimondo's nearly $1 billion in broadband expansion on tribal lands—achieving their mission looks to be within close range.

On June 3, 2021, the NTIA released a Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) for the Tribal Broadband Connectivity Program, which provides $980 million in grants for various tribal governments, tribal organizations, native corporations, among others, to adopt and deploy broadband infrastructure on tribal lands. The NOFO states that the NTIA invites eligible entities with "projects that deploy new broadband infrastructure, replace antiquated infrastructure, or upgrade or extend existing infrastructure" on tribal lands to apply. Award amounts may range between $1 and $50 million. Applications must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. Pacific Daylight Time on September 1st, 2021.

Now, more than ever, is the time to remove the digital barriers that have isolated many tribal communities and open the doors to broadband access and affordability so no tribe is left out.

What our on-demand webinar to learn more about the NTIA’s Tribal Broadband Connectivity Program, hear about Airspan and Mimosa use cases on tribal lands, and obtain valuable resources on how to close the tribal connectivity gap.