As part of the Tribal Broadband Connectivity Program, the Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration recently awarded a $500,000 grant to the Passamaquoddy Tribe of Indian Township in Maine.

With funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the grant will assist the Passamaquoddy Tribe of Indian Township in creating and implementing digital inclusion, distance learning, and telehealth and telework programs for the benefit of their tribal members, NTIA stated in a prepared release.

“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. “The investments we announced today are a crucial step in closing the digital divide in Indian country.”

Deputy Assistant Secretary of Commerce April McClain-Delaney met with Passamaquoddy Tribe of Indian Township Chief William Nicholas in Waterville to celebrate the award.

“We understand that reliable internet is no longer a luxury and is now an essential utility,” Nicholas said. “This award is the first step in optimizing utilization of our new fiber infrastructure. We are excited to work toward expanded education, health care and workforce development opportunities for our community and ensuring that Passamaquoddy people have access to affordable, adequate internet.”

The Tribal Broadband Connectivity Program is a nearly $3 billion grant program and part of the Biden-Harris Administration’s Internet for All Initiative. The funds are made available from President Joe Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law ($2 billion) and the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 ($980 million).

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