For Immediate Release
December 23, 1999
Contact: Ranjit de Silva
(202) 482-7002

PTFP Announces Application Deadline for FY 2000 Grant Cycle

The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) today announced the official application deadline for the FY 2000 Public Telecommunications Facilities Program (PTFP) grant cycle. Applications for the PTFP grant program must be received by 8 p.m., Thursday, February 17, 2000. The official PTFP Notice of Availability of Funds is published in today's Federal Register. The program has been appropriated $26 million for FY 2000.

The FY 2000 Notice includes several changes in PTFP procedures for the new grant cycle. The new procedures are designed to help public television stations meet a Federal Communications Commission (FCC) requirement to start transmitting a digital signal no later than May 1, 2003.

One of the most important changes made this year will allow multi-year grants for public television stations. Multi-year grants will help stations spread the high cost of digital television signal conversion over a period of up to four years. "With these changes, the PTFP can better help stations take advantage of the Clinton/Gore Administration's multi-year public television digital conversion initiative," said Gregory L. Rohde, Assistant Secretary for Communications and Information and the NTIA Administrator.

"Despite this focus on digital conversion, however, I want to emphasize that the conversion to digital will not in any way diminish the PTFP's longstanding commitment to assist public radio stations with their equipment needs and public television stations with their non-conversion equipment requirements," Rohde said.

Last February, the Administration recommended that PTFP receive $334 million to support public television's digital conversion through the year FY 2003, with $110 million planned for FY 2001.

Complete information and applications to the PTFP grant program are available on the Internet at www.ntia.doc.gov, click on "grants" then on "PTFP." Applicants without access to the Internet may request application materials by calling PTFP at (202) 482-5802 or sending a fax to (202) 482-2156. Any other questions about procedure changes or multi-year grants should be directed to William Cooperman, Director, PTFP, at (202) 482-5802.

PTFP is a competitive grant program that awards matching funds for equipment purchase by public radio and television stations and by school systems and other organizations involved with distance learning.

The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) serves as the principal adviser to the President, Vice President and Secretary of Commerce on domestic and international communications and information issues.

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