Rep. Carbajal Announces $500,000 Federal Investment to Help Close Digital Divide for Santa Ynez Tribe

Today, Congressman Salud Carbajal (CA-24) announced a new $500,000 grant from the Tribal Broadband Connectivity Program (TBCP) to fund the planning and surveying phase of expanded high-speed internet access for the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians.

This is the first grant from the $3 billion program to be awarded on the Central Coast.

“Whether it’s a small business needing to bring its goods to market or a student needing to complete their assignments, a sufficient internet connection can make the difference between success and failure,” said Rep. Carbajal. “This grant, the first for the Central Coast from a program I proudly helped create and fund, is a down-payment on closing that digital divide for our tribal areas – and I look forward to working with the Santa Ynez Chumash to secure the additional investments needed to make this essential connectivity universal in our region.”

The grant will help fund portions of preconstruction for the expanded broadband access, including conducting a Reservation-wide infrastructure survey and GIS mapping and environmental studies, developing a shovel-ready project for the deployment of an Fiber to the Home (FTTH) network, developing a broadband strategic plan, and obtaining technical assistance to manage RFPs submitted by contractors for network deployment.

According to the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, the project will benefit nearly 200 existing and future households, 19 businesses, and 12 community institutions.

The TBCP was created and funded by Rep. Carbajal and his colleagues in Congress in December 2020, with additional funding added by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law in November 2021.

The TBCP, part of President Biden’s Internet for All initiative, offers grants to eligible Native American, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian entities for high-speed internet deployment, digital inclusion, workforce development, telehealth, and distance learning.

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