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Remarks by U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo at the Arizona Tribal Grant Announcement


Thank you, Senator Kelly, for the introduction and for your incredible work to connect the unserved, particularly in rural areas and on Arizona’s Tribal lands. Thank you as well to Representatives Stanton and O’Halleran for your hard work and support. And thank you to the Inter Tribal Council of Arizona and all the tribal leaders who are with us today.

I also want to thank Senator Sinema – who couldn’t be here today – for her leadership on the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, which will continue to ensure that more tribes are able to get the broadband access they deserve.

As Commerce Secretary, I want to acknowledge that the department recognizes Indian Tribal self-government and supports tribal sovereignty and self-determination.

The Biden administration is committed to ensuring that Tribal communities have the resources they need and deserve to thrive in the 21st century economy. For far too long, Tribal communities have been cut off from the benefits of high-speed internet.

But that’s changing. President Biden has committed to connecting everyone in America to affordable, reliable high-speed internet. At the Commerce Department, we’ve launched the Internet For All Initiative to meet this goal.

Today, the Administration, the Commerce Department, and NTIA are excited to announce more than $105 million in high-speed internet infrastructure grants that are being awarded to five tribes and tribal organizations here in Arizona. These grants will connect more than 33,000 homes with high-speed internet through the Tribal Broadband Connectivity Program. 

We are proud to award grants to Hopi Telecommunications, Inc., the Navajo Tribal Utility Authority, the Pascua Yaqui Tribe of Arizona, the San Carlos Apache Tribal Council/Triplet Mountain Communications, Inc., and the White Mountain Apache Tribe.

Today’s announcement is the last of the over $500 million in awards going to tribal applicants that Vice President Harris announced earlier this month. That brings us to 69 awards from the Tribal Broadband Connectivity Program totaling more than $726 million dollars.

While we’re proud of our progress, there is much more work to be done. Access doesn’t matter if people can’t afford internet service. That’s why affordability is a core piece of Internet for All. 

And we know that American families need immediate relief now. Thanks to the Affordable Connectivity Program, Americans in qualifying households can get up to $30 per month – and $75 per month for those who live on qualifying tribal land - to help pay for internet. 

Thank you for partnering with us in this important mission of Internet for All. Together, we can connect America’s Tribal Communities, which will generate good-paying jobs, bring more educational opportunities, and increase access to healthcare. I’m excited to continue working with you. Thank you.