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

Funded by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Act, the grant will help the Passamaquoddy Tribe of Indian District to develop and implement digital inclusion, distance learning, telehealth and telework programs for the benefit of their tribal members, NTIA said in a prepared release.

“The Biden-Harris administration is committed to connecting all tribal communities to affordable and reliable high-speed Internet service,” said Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo. “The investment we announced today is a critical step in closing the digital divide in Indian Country.”

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

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

The Tribal Broadband Program is a nearly $3 billion grant program and is part of the Biden-Harris administration’s Internet for All initiative. Funding comes from President Joe Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Act ($2 billion) and the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 ($980 million).

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