NTIA Announces Arizona Broadband Funding
AIPI congratulates the Arizona Tribes and Tribal entities who were awarded with new Broadband funding over the last few weeks. On August 30, 2022, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) announced $105,846,128.07 in grants to five Tribal entities in Arizona. The NTIA awarded grants to Hopi Telecommunications, Inc., Navajo Tribal Utility Authority, Pascua Yaqui Tribe of Arizona, San Carlos Apache Tribal Council/Triplet Mountain Communications, Inc., and the White Mountain Apache Tribe. NTIA estimates that these projects combined will connect 33,300 homes to broadband internet. AIPI and the U.S. Government Accountability Office has found that 18% of residents on Tribal lands do not have access to broadband internet, and Grants like these throughout the U.S. will make a significant impact on expanding internet access throughout Indian Country.
The National Digital Inclusion Alliance (NDIA) also announced new National Digital Navigator Corps Grant awards for 18 rural and Tribal areas. These Grant recipients will make up NDIA’s National Digital Navigator Corps. The Digital Navigators Corps are made up of community-based digital navigators who will work in their communities to assist people with internet adoption, learning to use internet devices, and to help connect people to affordable devices. The Tribally-led entities receiving this grant are the Alaska Federation of Natives, Cayuse Native Solutions, Gila River Broadcasting Corporation: Digital Connect Initiative, Hoopa Valley Public Utilities District, Lummi Indian Business Council, and the Pueblo of Jemez.
Gila River Broadcasting Corporation: Digital Connect Initiative is a Tribal entity located here in Arizona. Digital Connect Initiative is led by Mikhail Sundust, who was a member of the AIPI team from 2018-2020. We are thrilled to see Mikhail’s success in his new venture and are excited to see this opportunity come to our Arizona Tribal community. For more information on Broadband in Indian Country, please continue to follow AIPI.