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Schrader Announces $500,000 Grant to Support the Siletz Tribe’s Broadband Infrastructure Future

U.S. Congressman Kurt Schrader (OR-05) is pleased to announce the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) awarded a $500,000 grant to the Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians through its Tribal Broadband Connectivity Program. The program is funded by the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 which Congressman Schrader supported and helped pass into law.

The grant funds will enable the Siletz Tribe to start a network of planning activities to develop a solution for broadband infrastructure in the greater Siletz area. This has long been a need for the Tribe, and the additional demand brought on by the COVID-19 crisis has further shown their current broadband infrastructure is not adequate to meet the demand and needs of their local community. The study will work to address this issue by planning broadband connection, construction and service deployment for currently unserved Native American households, businesses and community institutions. 

“Representing Oregon’s diverse Fifth District, I have long been an advocate for increased high-speed broadband internet access, particularly for those living in unserved or underinvested rural areas, which includes parts of the Siletz Tribal Community,” Rep. Schrader said. “This grant I helped secure for the Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians through the Tribal Broadband Connectivity Program is a crucial step toward closing the rural digital divide. I am excited to see how the Siletz Tribe will use the funding to deploy affordable and reliable broadband solutions that serve the specific needs of their community.”

“We appreciate Congressman Schrader’s help is securing federal funds to bring broadband service to households and businesses in Oregon.  We have significant needs in our rural and remote areas, and this is absolutely critical to our educational and economic success,” said Delores Pigsley, Tribal Chairman, Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians.

The Tribal Broadband Connectivity Program 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. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law championed by Congressman Schrader also provides an additional $2 billion in funding for this program, as part of a historic $65 billion investment to expand broadband in communities across America. 

NTIA has now made a total of eight awards, which total about $4 million in funding through the program. A current breakdown of the awards by recipient is available HERE.

NTIA will announce additional awards on a rolling basis.