The following information is for historical purposes only.
PTFP no longer accepts applications.
Instructions for Applications
Broadcast Planning Projects
☛ This section assumes that you have already looked at the Instructions for Filling Out the
PTFP Application Form and now are ready to prepare the parts of your PTFP application that
are specific to the type of project you are proposing.
● Planning — as applied to the Public Telecommunications Facilities Program — is defined in
the PTFP Final Rules as “activities to form a project for which PTFP construction funds may
be obtained.” PTFP can award Planning Grants under any of the priorities/categories for
broadcasting projects. The priorities are explained in the Final Rules; see §2301.4.
● A planning application and a construction application to implement the plan cannot both be
submitted in the same grant round.
● The purpose of most broadcast planning projects is to provide the planning organization with
the information necessary for it to determine whether it is feasible to construct and operate a
public broadcasting station.
● Your project, therefore, must be designed to find the answers to the following questions:
○ What will be the mission/purpose of the station?
○ How was that decided?
○ What types of station were considered — Low-Power FM, full-power AM or FM, TV,
repeater with local origination capability?
◦ Which type did you choose?
◦ Why; that is, what are the pros and cons for each type in your situation?
○ Will the station be built by and licensed to the organization that receives the planning
grant or by another organization?
◦ If the latter, the Final Report should document that the organization is (a) eligible to
receive a Construction Permit for the proposed station from the Federal
Communications Commission (FCC), and (b) committed to the construction and
long-term support and operation of the station.
○ If the proposed licensee is not experienced in broadcasting, what source of broadcast
expertise will the licensee have available to assist it in the operation of the station?
○ How will the licensee oversee the operation of the station?
◦ Will the station have an advisory board or committee?
◦ How will its members be chosen?
◦ Is there to be any participation by the general public?
○ What financial resources will be available to support the cost of (a) constructing the
proposed station and (b) the long-term operation of the completed station?
◦ Documentation — with dollar-commitment estimates, even if conditional — from
possible supporters of both types of expense should be included with the Final Report.
○ Have sites been found for studios, offices, the transmitter, and a tower?
◦ Does the proposed licensee own them or will it buy or lease them?
◦ If the latter, does it have a commitment from the owner(s) to sell or lease?
◦ If no sites have been found, what is being done to find them?
○ What professional engineering resources will be available for (a) the construction of the
proposed station and (b) the long-term maintenance of station equipment for its operation
and continued useful life?
○ What staffing plans have been developed?
◦ How many and which positions will be paid?
◦ How many and which will be volunteer positions?
◦ Will there be any student positions? How many and in what capacity?
◦ If experienced professionals will not be hired, how will the staff be trained?
○ What programing plans have been developed?
◦ How were they decided?
○ What evidence is there that the population of the expected coverage area is interested in
the proposed station and the programing the organization is planning?
○ What evidence is there that other organizations in that area would welcome the station
and see it as a potential aid to their work?
◦ Have they pledged any type of support?
○ If you request Priority 1A or 1B, is the proposed coverage area currently unserved by a
public station of the same type — radio or television — your organization is considering?
○ If you request Priority 3 or 4A, will the proposed station address underserved needs in the
projected coverage area in a way that significantly differentiates its service from what is
○ When will an application for a Construction Permit be submitted to the FCC?
☛ It should be understood that it is perfectly acceptable for a Planning Grant project to
conclude that no station should be constructed.
☛ Deferred Applications: If you are reactivating an application that did not receive a grant
award in the last grant cycle, you must submit a complete application. You should examine
very critically what was submitted before to see if it can be strengthened.
☛ You must prepare a Narrative to address the six evaluation criteria contained in
Section 2301.17 of the PTFP Rules and that are discussed in this section. The
1. Applicant Qualifications
2. Project Objectives
4. Planning Qualifications
5. Financial Qualifications
6. Involvement of Women and Minorities
● Begin your Narrative with an Executive Summary of your project.
○ Make it a brief, straightforward statement of what you propose to accomplish.
▪ Do not include supporting arguments/justifications here; put them in the sections that
● Then address the six evaluation criteria in separate sections of the Narrative.
○ We recommend that you address them in the order that follows and that you label each
section with the name of the criterion being discussed to help the reviewers who evaluate
○ Several of the evaluation criteria should also be addressed in Exhibits as explained below.
☛ The Narrative is limited to a total of five pages for both the Executive Summary and the first
○ You may make as much use as you wish of Optional Exhibits to provide a detailed
explanation of any subject.
○ Give cross-references in the appropriate sections of the Narrative to the Optional Exhibits
in which you provide additional information.
☛ There is no page limit on your response to the sixth criterion, “Involvement of Women and
● If your organization is a government entity, an Indian Tribe, or a non-profit organization that
has received a prior PTFP grant, no further documentation of eligibility is required at this
● If yours is a non-profit organization that has never received a PTFP grant, you must supply
certified copies of the following in Exhibit G:
○ its Articles of Incorporation as filed with the state,
○ its By-Laws, and
○ its IRS 501(c)(3) letter or other evidence of non-profit status.
● Describe your organization, its history, and outline the resources it has (or will have)
available to complete the proposed planning.
○ Detailed discussion of Financial Qualifications goes under Evaluation Criterion 5.
● Your discussion of this criterion should indicate the Priority you believe is appropriate for the project and why.
● Explain and discuss the objectives of the project.
○ Begin with the community need that the project is intended to address.
○ Explain how you became aware of this need.
○ Explain what led you to apply for this project.
○ Describe the expected outcome if this project is funded.
○ Explain how the expected outcome addresses the community needs mentioned earlier.
● Discuss whether and how the project has been coordinated with any telecommunications
services in the anticipated service area or with local, regional, or state telecommunications
● If you have done pre-planning, copies of any documentation that resulted should be placed in
an Optional Exhibit with a cross-reference from the Narrative.
● You should provide a compelling case that justifies funding the proposed project during the
current grant cycle.
● You might discuss any negative consequences that may result if your proposed planning is
● Discuss here whether or not there are already public broadcasting stations serving the area for
which you want to plan. If there are, you need to explain in detail what will set your proposed
station apart if activated.
● If applicable, discuss why your project is timely in pursuing a unique or innovative
opportunity to provide substantial potential benefits to a target audience.
○ Supporting documentation should be put in an Optional Exhibit; for example,
documentation that relevant groups/educational institutions intend to actively work with
the proposed station.
○ General letters of support from the public at large should be put in Exhibit E (see below).
● Your Narrative needs to address the following points:
○ Proposed planning process and timetable.
▪ Prepare a timetable for the project.
▪ Explain what procedures will be followed to complete your planning.
▪ These must be thoroughly described and are typically two to three pages of
information in outline form. Incorporate the Timetable and Step-by-Step Procedures
into the Narrative, or include them as separate documents in one of the Optional
Exhibits. Cross-reference them clearly from the Narrative.
○ Staff or consultants. A planning project usually requires a number of qualified staff
members and/or a consultant organization or individual to ensure that the project will be
conducted and completed professionally.
▪ Describe the experience and capabilities of the staff members who will be involved in
carrying out the planning project.
▪ If you intend to use consultants, discuss the professional qualifications you expect of
either consultants in general or of the specific consultants you identify as the ones
most likely to work on the project.
☛ Consultants must be selected in free and open competitive bidding. If you have used
a consultant to provide services such as pre-planning that may be considered directly
related to this project, you must explain why you believe that the particular consultant
is integral to the project. Explain whether and how your project would be
substantially hindered or delayed without the participation of the consultant in
question. The Department of Commerce will determine if you may use the same
consultant, or must use competitive bidding for consultants to carry out the project.
○ Proposed funding. Your project must consider potential funding sources to support the
proposed facility if it is constructed.
▪ Show how you will determine what financial support exists for. . .
▫ the construction and
▫ the operation and maintenance of the proposed facility if it is built.
○ Answers. Explain how the project will develop answers to the questions set out at the
beginning that are needed for the Final Report.
● Describe and document your organization’s ability to raise operating and capital funds.
● If you request more than 75% Federal funding, you must include justification for the request.
○ PTFP will consider a persuasive, well-documented demonstration of extraordinary need
as justification for grants of up to 100% of the total project cost.
○ Simply stating that you have such a need is not enough!
● Put any available documentation of local financial support that has been committed or
pledged to your planning project, even if conditionally, in an Optional Exhibit with a cross-reference from the narrative.
● Show how you will raise the necessary funds to pay for any part of the planning that will not
be supported by a PTFP grant.
● Response to this Evaluation Criterion should be included as part of the Program Narrative,
but it is not subject to the five-page limitation.
● Failure to address this criterion will lower the final score given your application by reviewers.
● In accordance with 392(f) of the Act, the Agency will give special consideration to
applications that foster ownership of, operation of, and participation in public
telecommunications entities by minorities and women. NTIA has not established any
minimum minority or women participation requirements for special consideration in PTFP
evaluations in order to carry out the objectives of the statute. Rather, NTIA believes that the
Congressional intent can be achieved in a fair and flexible manner by taking into account all
factual circumstances that might lead to special consideration.
● The PTFP Rules, in §2301.5, provide the following clarifications about special consideration.
“Ownership and operation of” includes the holding of management and other positions
in the entity, especially those concerned with programing decisions and day-to-day
operation and management.
“Participation” may be shown by the entity’s involvement of women and minorities in
public telecommunications through its programing strategies as meeting the needs and
interests of those groups
“Minorities” include American Indians or Alaska natives; Asian or Pacific Islanders;
Hispanics; and Blacks, not of Hispanic Origin.
● Employment of minorities or women is not the only way in which NTIA may assess whether
an application promotes significant diversity in the ownership of, operation of, and
participation in, public telecommunications entities by minorities and women. NTIA is also
interested in outreach efforts, audience development, and programing strategies. One stated
purpose of this program is to respond to the educational, cultural and related programing
needs of diverse groups.
● Applicants should provide a narrative (with supporting documentation when necessary) that
documents the participation of women and minorities in the station’s ownership and
management, especially those concerned with programing decisions and day-to-day operation
and management. In preparing their material, applicants should take care to clarify whether
they are discussing women, minorities (minorities can be considered as a single group, but
the predominant group should be identified as such), or a combination of women and
minorities (where the predominant group/gender should be identified, and applicants should
express whether they are discussing women or minorities in the case of an individual who is a
for Broadcast Planning Projects
☛ Planning Grant applicants do not submit the following exhibits:
Exhibit A: Inventory
Exhibit B: Justification of Equipment Requested
Exhibit C: Five-Year Equipment Plan
Exhibit D: Maps
Exhibit F: Distribution Agreements
Exhibit E: Letters of Support
● Put full documentation of any support from residents, community organizations, and local
groups within the anticipated service area here.
● Reviewers usually notice when letters of support are all worded identically and vary only in
their letterheads and signatures.
● You may forward support letters at any time, even after the Closing Date, but please
understand that letters received by PTFP more than three or four days after the Closing Date
probably will not be seen by the reviewers because the applications normally will be in their
hands by then.
☛ If you obtain letters of support from members of Congress addressed to the Department of
Commerce, NTIA, or PTFP, you should be sure the originals of those letters are mailed
separately to the addressees. The originals should not be included in the application folders.
You should place copies of the letters in this exhibit for consideration by the reviewers.
Exhibit G: Proof of Eligibility
● If yours is a non-profit organization that has never received a PTFP grant, supply in this
exhibit certified copies of the following:
○ its Articles of Incorporation papers as filed with the state,
○ its By-Laws, and
○ IRS 501(c)(3) letter or other evidence of non-profit status.
● These are optional exhibits that you may use to submit materials not specifically required by
PTFP or to supplement parts of your application.
☛ Such materials should be limited to items related directly to the proposed project.
● Do not submit recordings of any kind — tapes, cassettes, DVDs, CDs, etc.; any received will
be destroyed without being considered.
● If you include several optional exhibits, please provide a Table of Contents for them.
● Be sure to cross-reference optional exhibits from the appropriate places in the Program,
Technical, or Budget Narratives.
Exhibit AA: Required Certifications
Application for Federal Assistance — Standard Form 424B
Assurances — Non-Construction Projects
● In spite of the “Non-Construction” designation, all PTFP applicants must submit these pages.
They must be placed as the first item in Exhibit AA of your application.
○ The copy in the folder labeled “original” must have an original signature and be dated on
the second page.
Certification Regarding Lobbying — CD-511 & SF LLL
● Certification Regarding Lobbying — CD-511. All applicants must submit the CD-511.
○ The copy in the folder labeled “original” must have an original signature, the signer’s
title, and be dated.
● Standard Form LLL, Disclosure of Lobbying Activities needs to be submitted only if you
used either Federal or non-Federal money for lobbying as discussed in Sections (1) and (2)
of the CD-511. Membership in a public broadcasting organization that is considered an
advocacy organization for public broadcasting is normally not regarded as lobbying.
○ If Sections (1) and (2) do not apply, you do not need to include Form LLL with your
☛ You must submit an original and five copies of the complete application. Please assemble
each copy according to the instructions here. Doing so greatly assists the reviewers who
evaluate your application.
● Put one copy of the application in a six-panel folder arranged as explained below; please do
NOT put the original in this folder!
○ PTFP will send you a free six-panel folder on request. Call 202-482-5802, fax 202-482-2156, or email email@example.com. PTFP must have your request at least two weeks
before the Closing Date to be sure of delivery in time for you to meet the Closing Date.
○ If you want to supply your own six-panel folder, please use an ACCO #ACC-15036,
Oxford ESS-920025RCP2, or equivalent.
● Put the signed original and the four remaining copies in separate manila file folders labeled
with your organization’s name and secured with binder clips.
● The manila folder with the original copy should be labeled “ORIGINAL” on the outside.
○ This copy must have original signatures on the third page of the Application Form, the
Assurances (SF-424B), and the CD-511 certification of lobbying activity. Also Form
LLL, if required.
● Major sections of each copy of the application should be separated by divider sheets with
labeled index tabs that protrude from the edge of the sheet. (Please use labels that won’t fall
out!) The outline below marks each labeled index tab with an asterisk (*) and lists the
material you should place behind that divider.
☛ The folders provided by PTFP have six panels, and each panel has a metal clip at the top.
Please arrange the Application Form and other materials on the panels as follows:
Panel 1 Please leave blank for PTFP use.
Panel 2 *Application for Federal Assistance — Standard Form 424, the PTFP-2 Form, the SF
424A, and the PTFP-4 Form.
*Exhibit A PTFP-5 Form (p. 5) — Inventory for construction applications
*Exhibit B Equipment Justification for construction applications
*Exhibit C 5-Year Equipment Plan for construction applications
*Exhibit D Coverage Maps (if required)
Panel 3 Please leave blank for PTFP use.
Panel 4 *Exhibit E Letters of Support or Project Participation, if required
*Exhibit F Distribution Agreements, if required
*Exhibit G Eligibility documentation, if required
*Exhibit H - Z — Optional material (include a table of contents if there is more than
one optional exhibit)
Panel 5 *Exhibit AA Assurances and Lobbying (SF-424B, CD-511, plus Form LLL if
Panel 6 *FCC documents — Not required from Planning Applicants
● All applicants: If the states served by your project participate in the State Single Point of
Contact (SPOC) process, you must send copies of Standard Form 424 and page PTFP-2 to
their SPOC offices.
○ Your cover letter should state that a copy of the rest of the application is available upon
request. Enter the date of the cover letter in Item 19 on page 1 of the SF-424 before
submitting to PTFP.
○ A list of SPOC offices is available through the Office of Management and Budget home
page at http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/grants/spoc.html.
○ If you receive a response from your SPOC office, please send two copies of it to PTFP.
● You are advised to notify the telecommunications agency, if any, in each state served by your
○ You will find a list of State Telecommunications Agencies on the PTFP website.