|Frequently Asked Questions|
● Applications are due in the PTFP Office by 5:00 p.m., Eastern Time, Thursday, March 17, 2011. This is the Closing Date.
● PTFP does not accept fax or e-mail applications, or weekend deliveries.
● If you send your application by overnight carrier, be sure the carrier guarantees delivery by 5:00 p.m., Eastern Time, on the date specified above.
● If you send your application by United States Postal Service regular mail, please note that we do not accept a postmark as proof of meeting the deadline.
● Further, anything sent via the USPS (including "overnight" and “Express Mail”) is subject to delivery delays due to mail security procedures at the Department of Commerce. We urge you to consider submitting your application by other means, such as alternate commercial delivery carriers. You should also consider possible delays in delivery caused by the weather and to allow for such delays in sending your application.
● If your application is late, we will return it to you without review.
● Our mailing and delivery address is:
U.S. Department of Commerce
1401 Constitution Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20230
Attention: Any application being hand-delivered, MUST be brought to Entrance 10 on the 15th Street side of the Department of Commerce for clearance through building security by 5:00 p.m., Eastern Time, on the Closing Date.
● You must use several Federal government Standard Forms to submit basic information. Details of your request are submitted on special PTFP forms — pages PTFP-2, PTFP-4, and PTFP-5.
● Written narratives and exhibits are also required.
● All forms for FY 2011 are on the Application Form section of this website.
● Instructions for filling out the Application Form are here.
● Read carefully the PTFP Federal Funding Opportunity announcement and the instructional guidelines for your type of project —
● Do this each time you apply because PTFP makes changes every year.
● Broadcast construction projects. PTFP funds broadcast projects that:
○ Activate new public broadcasting stations or extend the service areas of existing stations.
○ Replace old equipment at existing public broadcasting stations.
○ Convert the transmission of a public television or radio station to digital broadcasting.
○ Click here for a complete listing of the 2010 PTFP grant awards.
● Non-broadcast construction projects.
○ PTFP can funds nonbroadcast projects only if they activate new services or extend the service areas of existing facilities.
○ PTFP is prohibited by law from funding projects that would improve (i.e., replace or augment) the equipment of already-operating nonbroadcast entities.
○ You will find additional guidance on the improvement of nonbroadcast projects in “Program Policies for Distance Learning Applicants. ”
○ Click here for a complete listing of the 2010 PTFP non-broadcast grant awards.
● Planning projects. PTFP funds planning projects for broadcast and nonbroadcast purposes.
○ Basic planning application requirements are the same as those for construction projects.
○ Applications usually plan for the activation of a new broadcast or nonbroadcast facility.
○ Guidelines for preparing Planning Grant applications are provided online:
• “Guidelines for Preparing an Application for Broadcast Planning Projects”
• “Guidelines for Preparing an Application for Nonbroadcast Planning Projects”
● Applicants may request funds to convert radio stations to digital broadcasting. Applications may request digital transmitters, digital exciters to upgrade digital-ready transmitters, and digital production equipment. These applications are placed in the Priorities in §2310.4 of the PTFP Rules, usually 2 or 4A. See Section I, B, 2b of the Federal Funding Opportunity (FFO) announcement.
● Applicants may request a digital-upgradable transmitter to replace an analog transmitter or may request fully compliant IBOC digital transmitters. Applicants should read carefully the discussion of this subject in Section I, B, 2b of the FFO.
● Applications requesting digital compliant transmitters must include the applicant’s conversion plan, including its plans, if any, to use the Program Associated Data or Supplemental Audio Channel as authorized by the FCC.
● We recognize that there may be some full-power public television stations that have not completed digital conversion of all their broadcast equipment. We will continue to support the digital conversion of television stations in FY 2011. Any remaining digital conversion projects will be placed in the established PTFP Priorities and categories contained §2301.4 of the PTFP Rules.
● PTFP will accept applications for the Distributed Transmission Systems (DTS) and replacement digital television translators, as well as applications for projects to extend the service areas of digital public television stations to the greatest number of people, as permitted by the FCC, whether by power increases or channel changes, as part of its effort to solve post-conversion reception issues. Such applications will be placed in Priority 1B, as discussed in the Federal Funding Opportunity (FFO) announcement.
● Digital translator projects to upgrade existing analog facilities are eligible for PTFP funding. Such applications will be placed in the Broadcast Other Cases category, as discussed in the Federal Funding Opportunity (FFO) announcement.
● Projects to replace analog translators and LPTV stations with analog equipment are no longer eligible for PTFP funding, as discussed in the Federal Funding Opportunity (FFO) announcement.
● Replacement or upgrade of existing analog master control and production equipment to digital will be placed in the Priorities in §2310.4 of the PTFP Rules, usually 2 or 4A, as discussed in the Federal Funding Opportunity (FFO) announcement.
● Applications to replace existing digital master control and production equipment (including replacing SD equipment with HD) will be placed in the regular broadcast priorities (usually Priority 2 or 4A).
● Applications must clearly identify any equipment proposed to replace PTFP-funded equipment that is within the ten-year Federal Interest Period and provide a plan regarding the use or disposition of such equipment so that the Federal interest continues to be protected. The plan may include:
○ using transmission equipment as standby transmission equipment;
○ sale of the equipment at fair market value and return of a percentage of the proceeds to PTFP to be awarded to other applicants; or
○ transfer of the remaining Federal interest to other broadcast equipment not purchased with PTFP funds.
● The presumed funding level for TV replacement, improvement, and augmentation projects is a 50% Federal share. Stations may request a higher percentage of Federal support by showing “extraordinary need” per §2301.6(b)(1)(ii) of the PTFP Final Rules.
● Equipment for closed captioning is eligible for PTFP funding.
● Closed captioning equipment is included in the online television equipment lists.
● However, equipment to meet the projected FCC standards for Video Description is NOT eligible for PTFP funding in FY 2011, as explained in the Federal Funding Opportunity Notice.
● Equipment for Internet streaming is eligible for PTFP funding.
● Applications for streaming equipment are placed in Priority 5B (see §2301.4(b)(5)(ii) of the PTFP Final Rules).
● Equipment for emergency power generation and Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) is eligible for PTFP funding.
● If you request emergency power generation or UPS, you must specify:
○ (1) whether the requested system is a UPS and/or generator and the location(s) it is for (e.g., transmitter, intermediate microwave site, master control),
○ (2) the KVA rating of the requested system and for what load, and
○ (3) the size of any auxiliary fuel tank and the number of days of operation the fuel tank would support.
● Systems for master control would be to power only the technical facilities required to keep the station master control on the air, including air conditioning units limited to those facilities.
● Applications for station activation may include stand-by power generators and/or Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) units.
● Generators and UPS units to provide emergency power to entire facilities are not contemplated for PTFP support.
● If NTIA funds emergency power and UPS equipment through the PBS grant for placement at stations participating in the WARN project, those stations will not receive funding for emergency power and UPS equipment from PTFP during the FY 2011 grant round.
● No. Please see this section of the Federal Funding Opportunity Notice for the reasons PTFP is not funding this equipment during the FY 2011 grant cycle.
● Licensing fees required by a manufacturer for the initial purchase and installation of equipment are eligible for PTFP funding support.
● Ongoing licensing fees for software or broadcast-specific technology are considered operational costs and are ineligible for PTFP support.
● Yes. The requirements for Low-Power FM applications are the same as for other applications.
● Applicants to activate new LPFM stations should consult the PTFP guidelines for station activation projects.
● Applicants requesting origination and other equipment should consult the PTFP guidelines for equipment replacement projects.
● By statute PTFP cannot fund more than 75% of a construction project. Otherwise, there is no limit on the amount of funds you can request, but PTFP will look carefully at the quantity and price of each item of equipment requested for its appropriateness to your project.
● Construction Projects: PTFP has established presumed Federal percentages for the funding of various types of broadcast station Construction projects. These are shown in the Federal Funding Opportunity (FFO) announcement.
● Planning Projects: While we don’t require local matching funds for Planning Grants, our presumption for planning projects is 75% Federal funding of eligible project costs.
● Corporation for Public Broadcasting funds: Our policy limits the use of CPB funds to meet the local matching requirements; see the FFO.
● Yes. PTFP Program Officers are available to answer questions during regular business hours until the Closing Date.
● A list of PTFP Program Officers and their assignments appears at "Contact PTFP."
● Yes, you must print the Application Form, add your narratives and any other materials that do not appear online, sign it on page 1b of Standard Form 424, and duplicate, assemble, and send the required number of copies.
● You must also sign and send Standard Form 424B and the CD-511.
● Note that PTFP’s online Application Form will automatically do all math, carry figures from one page to the others, and check whether you have completed all items.
● You can spend your local matching funds, at your own risk, after the Closing Date.
● If your application is a reactivated application, the Closing Date of the original submission is the date after which you may obligate local matching funds.
● No Federal funds may be obligated before an award is made.
● PTFP may eventually propose an award much lower than the amount you originally requested. If you obligate funds before the start of the grant, the amount of money we can award may have to be reduced so that no Federal funds are obligated before the award date. (You have obligated funds when you accept a bid or issue a purchase order.)
● You should consider all project monies obligated before the start date as part of your local match.
● You must certify (in item 20 of Standard Form 424) whether your organization is delinquent on any Federal debt.
● If your organization is delinquent in paying any Federal agency, you cannot receive a grant until the debt is paid or until you make arrangements to pay the debt.
● We must consider debts owed to any agency of the Federal government, not just to the Department of Commerce or NTIA. We must also consider debts incurred by other divisions of your organization (such as another department within a university) as well as any debt from your specific division (e.g., the university TV station).
● If your FY 2010 application was deferred (that is, not funded), you may reactivate it if its purpose and scope remain the same in FY 2011
● To reactivate your application, enter “Y” in item 23a of the PTFP-2 form and enter your FY 2010 application file number in item 23b (e.g., 20999).
● If items 23a and 23b are blank, the application will be treated as a new one, and any local funds expended since the original filing will be ineligible for inclusion in the project.
● You must submit a complete application just like any other applicant.
● To make your application more competitive, we urge you to:
○ Look closely at your total application and exhibits, since applications can often be strengthened by updating or expanding the materials originally submitted.
○ Contact your state’s Program Officer for a summary of what the reviewers said about the original submission. (A list of PTFP Program Officers and their assignments appears at "Contact PTFP."
● Note that the PTFP Final Rules permit only two reactivations of a deferred application, for a total of three years consideration (§2301.9).
● It should be understood that reactivated applications have no special standing at PTFP in the evaluation process. They are evaluated without reference to a prior submission.
● We will send an acknowledgment of receipt after the Closing Date.
● The acknowledgment will give you the file number we assign and the priority under which your application will be reviewed. Please put this file number on any subsequent correspondence with PTFP about the application.
● Applications are evaluated as submitted, but at any time during the application review process we may request any additional information we wish to have for the evaluation of your application. You must provide the requested information within 15 days of the request.
● We are interested in receiving certain information that materially affects your application. A list of this information is in the PTFP Rules, §2301.14. If you receive any information after the Closing Date that materially affects the application (per the list in the Rules), you should notify us immediately. You may not, however, submit substantive amendments to your application after the Closing Date.
● Unless otherwise instructed, you need submit only an original and one copy of any additional information submitted to PTFP as part of the application review procedure.
● No. For the efficient processing of PTFP applications, and because the eligibility, funding requirements and processing timetable of PTFP are so different from that of other Federally-funded grant programs such as CPB or RUS, NTIA will not accept or process requests for PTFP funding for the purchase of equipment submitted to another Federal grant program. It is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure that no PTFP-funded equipment is funded by another Federally-funded grant program.
● The Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act of 2006 includes a requirement for awardees of applicable Federal grants to report information about first-tier subawards and executive compensation under Federal assistance awards issued in FY 2011 or later.
● All awardees of applicable grants and cooperative agreements are required to report to the Federal Subaward Reporting System (FSRS) available at www.FSRS.gov on all subawards over $25,000, under the following circumstances: