WASHINGTON – Wednesday, the Hoonah Indian Association was awarded $500,000 from the Tribal Broadband Connectivity Program (TBCP). The program is run by the Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) and is part of the Biden-Harris Administration’s Internet for All initiative.
- Hoonah Indian Association is one of ten tribes receiving funding totaling nearly $5 million as part of the Tribal Broadband Connectivity Program.
- With funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, these new grants bring the total of the program to over $1.77 billion awarded to 157 Tribal entities.
- These record investments in high-speed internet deployment are a key part of President Biden’s Investing in America agenda.
- This Broadband Use and Adoption project proposes to increase broadband speeds and capacity to deliver 100 Mbps down/50 Mbps up to the Technology Center to serve the community.
Mary Peltola, U.S. Representative, said of the grant announcement, “Internet connectivity is an essential part of modern life, providing access to education, job opportunities, and more. This grant is one more example of how the broadband investments Congress made through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law are paying off. I am glad to see this award to the Hoonah Indian Association. It will enable faster Internet speeds and more capacity for the community, and I look forward to seeing all the different ways that it will be put to use.”
Nathan Moulton, Hoonah Indian Association, Tribal Administrator stated, “The Native Village of Hoonah, Alaska, is the largest Tlingit Village in SE Alaska. We are experiencing tremendous growth from the tourism industry but have been essentially left behind in terms of broadband accessibility. The Hoonah Indian Association’s Broadband Use and Adoption award will help in several areas of deficiency.
“First, we will be creating a community Vocational and Technical Rehabilitation Center for individuals who desire to take coursework in emerging industries to better prepare them for the ever-expanding opportunities that increased tourism has brought.
“Second, we will expand our service offering for youth who wish to get a head start on college through dual-enrollment credits (College/High School), drivers’ education, and will offer adult coursework for GEDs, trade work, and post-secondary education. The NTIA award has the potential to change lives and allow for upward mobility in the many career pathways available.
“Third, we will offer an additional avenue for community members to access medical assistance through tele-med providers should they desire to have a more private setting outside of the traditional clinical setting at SEARHC.
“Last, we will be able to offer incredibly fast Internet speeds combined with stabilizing the network to not be so dependent on local utility outages through placing standby generators and network upgrades for increased speed and reliability. We are truly grateful for this opportunity and appreciate the hard work from all the staff at NTIA.”