Kilmer Applauds Funding to Expand Broadband to Tribal Land
Rep. Derek Kilmer, D- Wash., on Thursday cheered word that the Biden administration is allocating nearly $1 billion for grants to expand broadband access on tribal lands.
The anouncement of the funding was made by Vice President Kamala Harris, Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo, and Interior Secretary Deb Haaland. The grants will be made available through the Commerce Department’s Tribal Broadband Connectivity Program.
The program, created by the Consolidated Appropriations Act 2021, will provide funding to expand broadband on tribal lands – deploying broadband infrastructure, establishing affordable broadband programs, and supporting digital inclusion across Indian Country to lessen the digital divide.
“For far too long, Native American tribes in our region and across the country have struggled to connect to high-speed, affordable, reliable broadband internet,” Kilmer said.
“Today’s announcement by the Biden administration of new federal investment in Indian Country is huge – and will help tribes compete for new economic opportunities, empower students to learn, and bridge the digital divide across the board,” he added.
“For generations, a lack of infrastructure investment in Indian Country has left tribes further behind in the digital divide than most areas of the country,” Haaland said.
“We have a responsibility as a country to build infrastructure that will fuel economic development, keep communities safe, and ensure everyone has opportunities to succeed. Today’s announcement marks a major stepping stone in the Biden-Harris administration’s commitment to an all-of-government approach to ensure the federal government lives up to its responsibilities to tribal communities,” she added.
But Raimondo reminded reporters at the announcement that while “funding is an important step forward … we cannot stop here.”
“Access to broadband is as essential as electricity to our everyday life,” she said. Under President Biden’s American Jobs Plan, we will have the resources to deploy high-quality broadband infrastructure to every tribal community.”
“These investments will help many Native American, Alaskan Native and Native Hawaiian communities gain long overdue access to life-saving technologies, economic opportunities, remote learning and countless other benefits,” Raimondo said.
The TBCP will focus on connecting tribal communities that have the greatest needs when it comes to basic broadband services.
Despite the increasing necessity of broadband access, more than 20% of people living on tribal lands still lack broadband service availability at home. Infrastructure grants are also intended to fuel job growth on tribal lands.
Tribal projects through the program are intended to be built and maintained by a tribal workforce and inspire culturally appropriate practices that promote the rich culture and traditions of each tribe.
NTIA is also holding a series of webinars to further inform the public about the program. The next Tribal Broadband Connectivity webinars will be held on June 16 and 17.
Additional information can be found here.
In The News
WASHINGTON -- Cities that have been investing in technology to someday become Smart Cities have been able to react, adapt... Read More
WASHINGTON -- Cities that have been investing in technology to someday become Smart Cities have been able to react, adapt and meet the digital challenges brought on by the pandemic quicker than those that have not, said Patti Zullo, senior director of Smart City Solutions at... Read More
States will be at the helm of the $42.5 billion in block grants designated in the historic $65 billion proposed... Read More
States will be at the helm of the $42.5 billion in block grants designated in the historic $65 billion proposed for nationwide high-speed broadband within President Biden’s infrastructure bill. The broadband-related funding of the bill itself shows the federal government recognizes broadband as essential as a... Read More
WASHINGTON -- The Federal Communications Commission announced today it is seeking another round of comments regarding exclusivity arrangements between multi-tenant... Read More
WASHINGTON -- The Federal Communications Commission announced today it is seeking another round of comments regarding exclusivity arrangements between multi-tenant buildings and broadband providers. The filings preceding the announcement show the tug-of-war remains between those who think the competitive landscape for the broadband market in these... Read More
Google is once again postponing a return to the office for most workers until mid-January, in addition to requiring all... Read More
Google is once again postponing a return to the office for most workers until mid-January, in addition to requiring all employees to be vaccinated once its sprawling campuses are fully reopened. The highly contagious delta variant of the coronavirus is driving a dramatic spike in COVID-19... Read More
WASHINGTON -- A cybersecurity expert told a congressional panel Wednesday that private industry alone cannot be expected to effectively confront... Read More
WASHINGTON -- A cybersecurity expert told a congressional panel Wednesday that private industry alone cannot be expected to effectively confront the kinds of cyberattacks that have wreaked havoc on U.S. computer networks in recent years. He testified to a House Homeland Security subcommittee as it considers... Read More
SAN JOSE, Calif. -- Jury selection is underway in the fraud trial of Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes, a one-time darling... Read More
SAN JOSE, Calif. -- Jury selection is underway in the fraud trial of Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes, a one-time darling of Silicon Valley now facing felony charges alleging she duped elite financial backers, customers and patients into believing that her startup was about to revolutionize medicine.... Read More