Leech Lake gets $18.7 million from Tribal Broadband Connectivity Program

Leech Lake News reports

The Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe recently was awarded an $18.7 million broadband grant courtesy of The Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA.)

The grant comes from  NTIA’s “Tribal Broadband Connectivity Program (TBCP)”. Leech Lake was one of only two Tribes to be a recipient of the program’s new grants, totaling more than $36 million. These grants focus on expanding high-speed Internet service network deployment and digital skills training to improve access to education, jobs, and healthcare on Tribal lands with funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, also known as the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.

More on their plan…

The Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe plans to use the funds to install fiber and fixed wireless to directly connect 4,399 unserved Native American households with qualifying broadband service in remote areas on the Reservation  that currently experience connectivity issues. The grant proposal includes 153 miles of planned fiber optic installation as well as constructing nine new wireless towers in the following communities: Noopiming, Mission, Prescott, Oak Point, Sugar Point, Inger, S. Lake and Boy Lake.

LLBO Tribal staff have been developing the grant proposal for past 18 months with assistance from the Blandin Foundation, Muralnet and Teleworx. LLBO Economic Development planner Sally Fineday, and Wireless Manager Richard Schumann say the grant will help ensure internet for all and potentially create a new source of revenue  for the Tribe through leasing of unused wireless spectrum.

Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe awarded $18 million in federal Internet for All 

NTIA announces

The Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) announced today it has awarded 2 grants as part of the Tribal Broadband Connectivity Program (TBCP). These new grants, totaling more than $36 million, bring the total of the program to over $1.73 billion awarded to 132 Tribal entities. With funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, also known as the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, these grants will expand high-speed Internet service network deployment and digital skills training to improve access to education, jobs, and healthcare on Tribal lands.

“The Biden-Harris Administration is committed to connecting all Tribal communities to affordable and reliable high-speed Internet service,” said Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo. “Our Tribal Broadband Connectivity Program is continuing its historic and unprecedented commitment to close the digital divide by investing in Native communities.”

Tribes in two states received grants – Hawaii and Minnesota.

More info on the project in Minnesota…

Applicant – Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe
Project Type – Broadband Infrastructure Deployment
Funding Amount – $18,797,452
Description – The Broadband Infrastructure Deployment project proposes to install fiber and fixed wireless to directly connect 4,399 unserved Native American households with qualifying broadband service (fiber to the home service up to 100/40 Gbps and wireless service up to 80/20 Mbps).

Bois Forte Band of Chippewa Receives $20 Million Grant for Broadband

The NTIA reports

The Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) announced today it has awarded 23 grants as part of the Tribal Broadband Connectivity Program (TBCP). These new grants, totaling more than $601.6 million, bring the total of the program to $1.35 billion awarded to 94 Tribal entities. With funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the grants will expand high-speed Internet network deployment and digital skills training to improve access to education, jobs, and healthcare on Tribal lands.

The new grants are being awarded in fifteen states – Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Kansas, Minnesota, Montana, North Dakota, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Oregon, Texas, Utah, Washington, and Wisconsin.

And here’s the info on Bois Forte…

Bois Forte Band of Chippewa Indians
Broadband Infrastructure Deployment
Funding: $19,800,704.00
The Broadband Infrastructure Deployment project proposes to install fiber directly connecting 2,097 unserved Native American households, plus more than 60 businesses and community anchor institutions with up to 1 Gbps fiber to the home qualifying broadband service.