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Department of Commerce’s NTIA Awards Infrastructure Grant to Bring Critical Internet Connections to Alaska Native Community

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 
April 29, 2022

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WASHINGTON – The Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) announced today it has awarded a $500,000 grant to build out high-speed Internet infrastructure in Healy Lake Village in Fairbanks, Alaska. The grant, awarded under the Tribal Broadband Connectivity Program, is part of President Biden's commitment to ensuring everyone in America has access to reliable, affordable, high-speed internet.

This grant will connect unserved Alaska Native households with high-speed service, and connect critical facilities in the community, including the Healy Lake Village’s courthouse, library, and health clinic.

“Across the country, too many Americans don’t have access to affordable, reliable, high-speed internet. This is especially true for those living in Tribal communities,” said Alan Davidson, Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Communications and Information.  “NTIA’s Tribal Broadband Connectivity Program is playing a crucial role in meeting the mission and closing the digital divide by expanding Internet access to tribal communities and connecting them to schools, health care services, business opportunities and more.”    

The Tribal Broadband Connectivity Program, which was funded by the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021, makes $980 million available for grants to eligible Native American, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian entities for broadband deployment, digital inclusion, workforce development, telehealth, and distance learning.

President Biden’s recently enacted Bipartisan Infrastructure Law provides an additional $2 billion in funding for this program, as part of a historic $65 billion investment to expand broadband in communities across the United States.  Using resources provided by the law, NTIA is preparing to launch a series of new broadband grant programs that will build broadband infrastructure across the country, create more low-cost broadband service options, and address the digital equity and inclusion needs in our communities.

Additional broadband funding may be available through the Department of Treasury’s American Rescue Plan Funds. The BroadbandUSA Federal Funding Guide also compiles federal funding opportunities for expanding and improving broadband access. More information about the Tribal Broadband Connectivity Program can be found on the BroadbandUSA website. 

Applicant Location Type of Project Funding Amount Brief Description
Healy Lake Village Fairbanks, Alaska Infrastructure $500,000 The project proposes to construct backhaul infrastructure, access points, and distribution of customer premise equipment directly connecting unserved Alaska Native households with qualifying broadband service at speeds of up to 200/100 Mbps. Additionally, the project will establish Internet connections at critical facilities in the community, including the Tribal Offices, Tribal Court, Meicey Memorial Library and computer lab, and the Health Clinic which will provide a secure location for needed telehealth and telemedicine services in this remote location.