FY 2011
ANNOUNCEMENT OF FEDERAL FUNDING OPPORTUNITY
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

Federal Agency Name: National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), Department of Commerce

Funding Opportunity Title: Public Telecommunications Facilities Program (PTFP)

Announcement Type: Initial Announcement-Notice of Closing Date for Solicitation of Applications

Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number: 11.550-Public Telecommunications Facilities Program (PTFP) 

Program Authority: 47 U.S.C. §§ 390-393, 397-399(b) 

Dates: Completed applications must be received at the Public Telecommunications Facilities Program office no later than 5:00 p.m., Eastern Time, on Thursday, March 17, 2011 “the Closing Date.”

Funding Opportunity Description: The Public Telecommunications Facilities Program (PTFP) assists, through matching grants, in the planning and construction of public telecommunications facilities in order to:

  1. extend delivery of services to as many citizens as possible by the most cost-effective means, including use of broadcast and non-broadcast technologies;
  2. increase public telecommunications services and facilities available to, operated by, and controlled by minorities and women; and
  3. strengthen the capability of existing public television and radio stations to provide public telecommunications services to the public.

Amount to be Awarded: Issuance of grants is subject to the availability of FY 2011 funds. 

Funding Instrument: Grant

Eligible Applicants: To apply for and receive a PTFP Construction or Planning Grant, an applicant must be: (a) a public or noncommercial educational broadcast station; (b) a noncommercial telecommunications entity; (c) a system of public telecommunications entities; (d) a non-profit foundation, corporation, institution, or association organized primarily for educational or cultural purposes; or (e) a state, local, or Indian tribal government (or agency thereof), or a political or special purpose subdivision of a state.

Cost Sharing: Cost sharing is required.

Limitation on Number of Applications: None

 


FEDERAL FUNDING OPPORTUNITY(FFO)

Public Telecommunications Facilities Program (PTFP)

Fiscal Year (FY) 2011 Grant Cycle


Table of Contents for Electronic Access to this FFO
I.  Funding Opportunity Description
  1. PTFP Rules
  2. NTIA Areas of Interest for the FY 2011 Grant Round
    1. Eligible Projects and Priorities
    2. Radio Broadcasting
      1. Radio Activations and Signal Expansion Projects
        1. First Signal Activation with Local Origination
        2. First Signal Activation without Local Origination
        3. Power Increase Projects
        4. Second (additional) Station Activations
        5.  
        6. Important Information for Station Activation and Signal Expansion Projects
      2. Equipment Replacement Projects
        1. Changes in Priorities and the Deletion of Broadcast Other Cases "Subpriority C"
        2. Master Control and Production Equipment Projects
        3. Transmission Equipment
      3. Information for All Radio Applicants
        1. Corporation for Public Broadcasting Grant Funds
        2. Internet Streaming
        3. Stand-by Power Generators and Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) Units
        4. Common Alerting Protocol (CAP) Equipment
        5. Limitations on Expenditure of Federal, Local, and CPB Funds; Use of Owned or Donated Equipment; Disposal of Equipment
        6. Division of Radio and Television Funds
    3. Television Broadcasting
      1. Changes in the Priorities and the Deletion of Broadcast Other Cases "Subpriorities A and B"
      2. FY 2011 Procedures for Processing Television Applications
        1. Replacement of Analog Master Control and Production Equipment
        2. Digital Transmission Equipment at Full Power Stations
        3. Digital Conversion of Analog Translators
        4. Replacement of Analog Translators
        5. Establishment of New Digital Translators
        6. Stand-by Power Generators and UPS Units
        7. Closed Captioning, Video Description, CAP, and CALM Equipment
        8. Mobile Video Transmission Equipment
        9. Funding Levels
        10. Coordination with CPB and RUS
        11. Division of Television and Radio Funds
      3. Limitations on Expenditure of Federal, Local, and CPB Funds; Use of Owned or Donated Equipment; Disposal of Equipment 
    4. Distance Learning and Nonbroadcast Projects
II.  Award Information
III.  Eligibility Information
  1. Eligible Applicants
  2. Matching Funds Requirements
    1. Construction Applications
    2. Planning Applications
    3. General Provisions
  3. Other
IV.  Application and Submission Information
  1. Availability of Application Information
  2. Content and Form of Application Submission
  3. Submission Dates and Times
  4. Intergovernmental Review
  5. State Telecom Agency Review
  6. Funding Restrictions
    1. Construction Grants
    2. Planning Grants
    3. Audit Costs
    4. Indirect Costs
  7. PTFP Mailing and Delivery Address for Applications
V.  Application Review Information
  1. Criteria
    1. Applicant Qualifications
    2. Financial Qualifications
    3. Project Objectives
    4. Urgency
    5. a. Technical Qualifications (construction applicants only)
      b. Planning Qualifications (planning applicants only)
    6. Special Consideration (Involvement of Women and Minorities)
  2. Review and Selection Process
  3. Anticipated Announcement and Award Dates
VI.   Award Administration Information
  1. Award Notices
  2. Administrative and National Policy Requirements
    1. General Conditions
    2. Payment of Federal Funds
    3. Protection of Equipment
    4. Limitations of Liability
  3. Reporting
    1. Reports Submitted to PTFP
    2. Reports Submitted to the National Institute of Standards and Technology, Grants and Agreements Management Division
VII.  Agency Contacts
VIII.  Other Information
  1. NTIA Policies on Procedural Matters
    1. Applications Resulting from Catastrophic Damage or Emergency Situations
    2. Service of Applications
    3. FCC Authorizations
  2. Department of Commerce Procedural Matters
                                                                         

 

  1. Funding Opportunity Description

    1. PTFP Rules
           This section describes funding available under the Public Telecommunications Facilities Program, pursuant to Rules which were published on November 8, 1996 (61 FR 57966).  The 1996 Rules (15 CFR Part 2301) are posted on the NTIA Internet site at www.ntia.doc.gov/ptfp/Rules/currentrules.htm.

    2. NTIA Areas of Interest for the FY 2011 Grant Round
           This section is divided into four parts.  The first part provides an overview of the projects eligible for PTFP funding.  The remaining three parts provide specific information about NTIA’s emphasis for funding opportunities during the FY 2011 grant cycle.  The four parts in this section are:
      1. Eligible Projects and Priorities
      2. Radio Broadcasting
      3. Television Broadcasting
      4. Nonbroadcast (Distance Learning) Projects
    1. Eligible Projects and Priorities

           An applicant may file an application with the Agency for a planning or construction grant. Each application shall be identified as a broadcast or nonbroadcast project and must fall within at least one of the following categories, which are summarized here and are fully described in Section 2301.4 of the PTFP Rules:

      1. Special Applications (Nonbroadcast/Distance Learning). NTIA possesses the discretionary authority to recommend awarding grants to eligible nonbroadcast applicants whose proposals are unique or innovative and which address demonstrated and substantial community needs (e.g., service to the blind or deaf and nonbroadcast projects offering educational or instructional services).

      2. Broadcast Applications.  The Broadcast Priorities are set forth in order of priority for funding.
        1. Priority 1.  Provision of public telecommunications facilities for first radio and television signals to a geographic area.  Within this category, NTIA establishes three subcategories:
          1. Priority 1A.  Projects that include local origination capacity.    
          2. Priority 1B.  Projects that do not include local origination capacity.
          3. Priority 1C.  Projects that provide first nationally distributed programming. This subcategory includes projects that provide satellite downlink facilities to noncommercial radio and television stations that would bring nationally distributed programming to a geographic area for the first time, including interconnection with the Public Radio Satellite System and with the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) Next Generation Interconnection System (NGIS).
        2. Priority 2. Replacement of basic equipment of existing essential broadcast stations. The term “essential stations” refers to existing broadcast stations that provide either the only public telecommunications signal or the only locally originated public telecommunications signal to a geographical area.
        3. Priority 3. Establishment of a first local origination capacity in a geographical area. Projects in this category include the planning or construction of facilities to bring the first local origination capacity to an area already receiving public telecommunications services from distant sources through translators, repeaters, or cable systems.
        4. Priority 4.  Improvement of public broadcasting services. Projects eligible for consideration under this category are intended to improve the delivery of public broadcasting services to a geographic area. Within this category, NTIA establishes two subcategories:
          1. Priority 4A.  This subcategory includes the four following types of projects:
            1. Applications to replace urgently needed equipment from public broadcasting stations that do not meet the Priority 2 criteria because they do not provide either the only public telecommunications signal or the only locally originated public telecommunications signal to a geographic area.
            2. The establishment of public broadcasting facilities to serve a geographic area already receiving the same type (radio or TV) of public telecommunications services.
            3. The acquisition of satellite downlinks for public radio stations in areas already served by one or more full-service public radio stations including interconnection with the Public Radio Satellite System.
            4. The acquisition of the necessary items of equipment to bring the inventory of an already-operating station to the basic level of equipment requirements established by PTFP.
          2. Priority 4B. The improvement and non-urgent replacement of equipment at any public broadcasting station.
        5. Priority 5. Augmentation of existing broadcast stations. Projects in this category would equip an existing station beyond a basic capacity to broadcast programming from distant sources and to originate local programming. Within this category, NTIA establishes two subcategories:
          1. Priority 5A. Projects to equip auxiliary studios at remote locations, or to provide mobile origination facilities. While PTFP can equip a remote van for audio/video production, it cannot fund vehicles.
          2. Priority 5B. Projects to augment production capacity beyond basic level in order to provide programming or related materials for other than local distribution.
        6. Broadcast Other Cases (Digital Conversion). NTIA possesses the discretionary authority to recommend awarding grants to eligible broadcast applicants whose proposals are so unique or innovative that they do not clearly fall within the five Priorities listed in this section. Innovative projects submitted under this category must address demonstrated and substantial community needs or must address issues related to the conversion of public broadcasting facilities to advanced digital technologies.

    2. Radio Broadcasting

           This section is divided into three parts. Sections (a) and (b) deal with two general types of radio projects. Applicants whose projects propose activation of new stations or power increases should read Section (a) Radio Activations and Power Increase Projects; as explained below, these projects may be considered within Priorities 1, 3 or some within Priority 4A. Section (b) discusses the preparation of applications for replacement of existing equipment or augmentation of new equipment; these projects are considered within Priorities 2, 4 or 5.
      All radio applicants should read Section (c) Information for All Radio Applicants.

      1. Radio Activations and Signal Expansion Projects.
        NTIA’s highest priority is activation of public broadcasting facilities to provide a public broadcasting signal to unserved audiences. NTIA is prepared to fund new radio station projects as warranted by reviewers’ evaluations and PTFP’s financial resources. Although the FCC does not accept applications for new radio facilities on a regular schedule, it continues to process applications submitted during earlier filing windows. Since NTIA cannot predict the FCC’s timing, NTIA will accept and process applications requiring FCC action prior to the FCC’s issuance of Construction Permits or other authorizations.[1]  NTIA is hereby providing the following guidance to organizations that are considering submitting an application to PTFP for radio activation or extension projects. Potential applicants are also encouraged to contact the program officers for their states, listed in Section VII, Agency Contacts, for assistance in properly structuring their PTFP application, whether for a single or a multi-station proposal.
        Activations to provide the first public radio signal to an area are divided into two subgroups, Priority 1A and Priority 1B.
        1. First Signal Activations with Local Origination: Priority 1A.  As in the past, NTIA will give Priority 1A status to first public radio signal projects that will originate a local public radio service to a geographic area. A Priority 1A application must include information showing that local offices and studios are fully staffed for station management and program production.
               NTIA has long recognized that new fully-staffed Priority 1A projects are usually submitted by organizations that are beginning to build community support. Priority 1A projects usually also incur significant project costs which are ineligible for Federal support, such as studio building acquisition/renovation and start-up staff costs. Because these projects are NTIA’s highest priority, PTFP will continue to fund Priority 1A applications with a presumption of a 75 percent Federal share, the maximum amount permitted by law.
        2. First Signal Activations without Local Origination:  Priority 1B.  NTIA will continue to give Priority 1B status to first public radio signal projects which are repeaters or translators of other public radio facilities. Projects that will serve significant additional listeners with a first public radio signal through increases in tower height and/or power upgrades may be classified as Priority 1B or Priority 2 (equipment replacement) and are discussed in the section on power increase projects below.
               In recent years, applicants have shifted the emphasis of applications for expansion projects from requests for fully staffed stations to requests for Priority 1B repeaters and translators. Given the limited availability of Federal funds and the increasing number of applications for new repeater/translator stations, PTFP will now evaluate Priority 1B applications to determine the appropriate level of Federal funding.
               In general, however, NTIA will continue its present presumption of 75 percent Federal funding for Priority 1B applications which construct the applicant’s first broadcast facility in a community.
               NTIA normally will fund an application seeking to upgrade a translator to a repeater at a 50 percent Federal share. These applicants should be able to draw on the financial resources of the community the applicant’s existing program service serves. Since the broadcaster would be building upon existing infrastructure, it also would incur reduced ineligible start-up costs. Applicants for these types of Priority 1B projects may seek a higher Federal share percentage by submitting a justification for the increased amount, which PTFP will evaluate.  
        3. Power Increase Projects.  Sometimes a project to replace a station’s transmitter or antenna results in an increase in coverage to a new, but relatively small, unserved audience. PTFP usually treats these applications with incidental coverage increases as Priority 2 or Priority 4A applications if the equipment replacement meets the Priority 2 or Priority 4A criteria respectively. If an applicant requests Priority 1B consideration of such an application, the applicant should provide documentation that shows a significant increase in the population that will receive a first public radio signal. PTFP will evaluate the Priority of such requests on a case-by-case basis. Since the applicant already has a facility in the community, NTIA normally will fund these projects, if accepted as Priority 1B, at a 50 percent Federal share. Applicants for these types of Priority 1B projects may seek a higher Federal share percentage by submitting justification for the increased amount, which PTFP will evaluate.
        4. Second (Additional) Station Activations: Priority 3 for Those with First Local Origination, otherwise Priority 4A. NTIA will continue to place an application to provide an additional public radio signal to an area already served by public radio in Priority 4A, unless it provides the first local origination to an area, in which case NTIA will place it in Priority 3.[2] The project must demonstrate that it will address underserved needs in a way that significantly differentiates its services from what is already available in the proposed coverage area see (§ 2301.4(b)(ii)(b) of the PTFP Final Rules).
               In order to extend its resources to assist in signal expansion projects, NTIA will usually fund Priority 3 and 4A additional signal projects at no more than a 50 percent Federal share. This is due both to the lower priority and the reduced ineligible costs of Priority 3 and 4A repeater/translator projects, which build upon existing infrastructure. Applicants for Priority 3 and 4A expansion projects, including those for new fully-staffed facilities, may seek a higher Federal share percentage by submitting justification for the increased amount, which PTFP will evaluate.
               If a project to construct a second station (or other additional stations in a community) results in coverage to a new unserved audience and the applicant requests Priority 1A or Priority 1B consideration of its application, the applicant should provide documentation showing that a significant increase in the population will receive a first public radio signal. PTFP will evaluate the Priority of such requests on a case-by-case basis.
        5.  Important Information for All Station Activation and Signal Expansion Applicants:
          1. Coverage Maps.  An applicant proposing to construct a Priority 1A, 1B, Priority 3, or Priority 4A station activation should provide documentation, such as maps or tables, of the number and geographical location of persons who would receive a first public radio signal as well as the number and location of persons already covered by another public radio station who would receive added service as a result of the proposed project (see § 2301.4(b)(1)(v) of the PTFP Final Rules).
          2. Digital Transmission Equipment. An applicant proposing to construct a Priority 1A, 1B, Priority 3, or Priority 4A station activation should address whether it requests funds to equip the new facility with digital broadcast capability. As noted below in the discussion regarding digital conversion, NTIA anticipates that it will fund digital-upgradable transmitters as the usual equipment for new facilities. Grant recipients will be able to add, at their own expense, in-band, on-channel (IBOC) exciters and additional power output modules as needed to PTFP-funded digital-upgradable transmitters.[3]  Applicants requesting full IBOC digital transmitters as part of their activation project must include documentation of the station’s digital plan demonstrating its programming readiness to begin digital broadcasting upon receipt of PTFP funding. An application for IBOC transmission equipment also must directly address in its technical exhibits the proposed type of analog/digital signal combining. The applicant should include its plans, if any, to utilize Program Associated Data or the Supplemental Audio Channel (multicasting) as authorized by the FCC.[4] 

      2.  Equipment Replacement Projects.
        1. Change in Priorities and the Deletion of Broadcast Other Cases Subpriority C.
               PTFP has deleted the Subpriority C category for the processing of digital conversion applications and will return to the Priorities and Categories as contained in Section 2310.4 of the PTFP Rules.
               NTIA encourages the use of digital technologies for public radio facilities. For many years, NTIA has funded projects for digital studio-transmitter-links (STLs) and digital audio production equipment which will assist public radio stations as they prepare for conversion to digital technologies. The FCC approved digital In-Band, On-Channel (IBOC, now marketed as HD-Radio) radio broadcasting in October 2002, but did not mandate a deadline for digital conversion. NTIA began funding digital-compatible transmission equipment during the FY 2003 PTFP grant round. NTIA placed these applications in the Broadcast Other Cases category and subsequently created the Broadcast Other Cases Subpriority C category for digital conversion projects. In recent years, the number of Subpriority C applications has decreased significantly; in FY 2010, these applications represented less than one percent of the Federal funds requested.
               Given the decreased request for Subpriority C applications and the age of the analog equipment requested for upgrade to digital, NTIA believes that it is now appropriate to consider the replacement of analog radio equipment with digital as normal equipment replacement within the Priority 2 or Priority 4A sections of the PTFP Rules.[5] NTIA, therefore, is discontinuing the Subpriority C in the Broadcast Other Cases category previously used for digital conversion of public radio. NTIA may also fund digital equipment under Priority 4B, non-urgent replacement, and Priority 5, auxiliary studios and augmentation.
        2. Master Control and Production Equipment Projects. As public radio stations become public media providers, they distribute programming through many technologies, including multicasting using over-the-air HD Radio digital broadcasting, direct linkages to cable companies and other similar service providers, distribution through the Internet and Broadband connections, and other potential technologies. The basic station infrastructure of master control and production equipment must be able to originate, store and distribute signals to support these multiple delivery platforms.
               NTIA will fund projects for master control and production equipment, whether analog or digital, as equipment replacement, improvement, or augmentation projects with the presumption of a 50 percent Federal share unless the applicant makes a showing of extraordinary need for a higher percentage pursuant to § 2301.6(b)(ii) of the PTFP Rules. NTIA will continue to support digital equipment for radio equipment replacement projects. PTFP has included a list of eligible digital equipment on its Internet site. This list includes transmission, master control, production and STL equipment
        3.  Applicants for Transmission Equipment.
          1. Digital Upgradable Transmitters. Regarding FY 2011 applications for replacement equipment, NTIA anticipates that it will fund digital-upgradable transmitters as the usual replacement for analog transmitters at the power level required to achieve the licensed analog Effective Radiated Power (ERP), if justified as urgent replacement of radio transmission equipment. Grant recipients will be able to add an IBOC exciter and additional power output modules as needed to PTFP-funded digital-upgradable transmitters. The cost for the IBOC exciter and additional power output modules above the amount initially approved for the replacement transmitter will be the responsibility of the grantee for FY 2011 awards.
          2. Digital Compliant Transmitters and STLs. NTIA may also directly fund fully compliant IBOC digital transmitters as replacement equipment, when fully justified by the application. Applicants requesting full IBOC digital transmitters as part of equipment replacement projects must include documentation of the station’s digital conversion plan demonstrating its programming readiness to begin digital broadcasting upon receipt of PTFP funding. Included should be the applicant’s plans, if any, to utilize Program Associated Data or the Supplemental Audio Channel (multicasting). The request for a digital transmitter, in itself, is not sufficient justification to replace an otherwise adequate analog or composite STL. The need for the replacement of the STL should be supported by technical documentation addressing the program channel and interface requirements of the digital transmitter. Digital conversion applications must directly address the type of analog/digital signal combining proposed in their technical exhibits.

      3. Information for All Radio Applicants
        1. Corporation for Public Broadcasting Grant Funds.  NTIA is aware that the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) has a grant program focused on projects to convert public radio stations to digital broadcasting. For the efficient processing of PTFP applications, and because the PTFP eligibility, funding requirements and processing timetable are so different from those of CPB, NTIA will not accept or process requests for PTFP funding for the purchase of radio equipment submitted to CPB. It is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure that no PTFP-funded equipment is funded by both grant programs.
        2. Internet Streaming. Given the limited availability of funds, NTIA has emphasized support of basic equipment required for a public broadcast station to serve its local audience (see § 2301.4 of the PTFP Final Rules, passim). NTIA continues to receive more activation and replacement applications than it can fund in any cycle. NTIA has received few applications for equipment to provide Internet streaming. Generally, the applications have not been favorably evaluated.
               NTIA has determined that streaming on the Internet goes beyond the provision of a basic local public broadcasting service. NTIA will place any applications it receives for streaming equipment in Priority 5B (see § 2301.4(b)(5)(ii) of the PTFP Final Rules). Priority 5B relates to equipment required for the production of “programming for regional and national use.”
        3. Stand-by Power Generators and Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) units.  PTFP regards stand-by power generators and uninterruptible power supply units as essential equipment when an applicant has documented a pattern of frequent transmitter power outages accompanied by delayed restoration of power. Station activation projects have included stand-by power equipment only if justified by circumstances at the site where the transmitter was to be installed.
               Applications seeking such equipment will be placed in Priority 2 or Priority 4A, according to the category in which the applicant otherwise qualifies for equipment replacement projects. PTFP is prepared to support only the minimum level of equipment required to keep a station’s signal on the air. Emergency power for origination equipment will be considered in addition to transmission equipment when the applicant demonstrates that such equipment is integral to the emergency service it provides. Applicants requesting UPS or generators must specify (1) whether the requested systems are UPS and/or generators and for which locations they are (e.g,. master control, transmitter, intermediate microwave site), (2) the KVA rating of the requested system, and what loads will be served, and (3) the size of any additional fuel tanks requested and the number of days of extended operation the fuel tanks would support.[6] PTFP does not contemplate supporting stand-by generators and UPS units to provide emergency power to entire facilities.
        4. Common Alerting Protocol (CAP) Equipment. On September 30, 2010, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) adopted the CAP digital message format for the next generation of the broadcast-based Emergency Alert System (EAS). FCC regulations (47 C.F.R. §11.56) require that EAS participating stations must be able to receive CAP messages within 180 days of FEMA’s adoption of the CAP (i.e., March 29, 2011). After reviewing petitions for an extension filed by a wide industry coalition (including the National Association of Broadcasters, the National Cable and Telecommunications Association, the Society of Broadcast Engineers, the Public Broadcasting System, National Public Radio and forty-six State Broadcasters Associations) the FCC granted an extension of the deadline until September 30, 2011 [See In the Matter of Review of the Emergency Alert System] (Order FCC #10-191 Released November 23, 2010). In the Order, however, the FCC stated that “[W]e intend to revisit the issue of CAP acceptance by EAS Participants, in an upcoming notice of proposed rulemaking undertaking a comprehensive review of the impact of CAP on our Part 11 rules, including the CAP reception rule and the issue of Commission certification under its Part 11 rules of CAP compliant equipment… [W]e will seek comment on whether the extension for CAP acceptance by EAS participants granted in this waiver order is sufficient, and reserve the right to further extend the date for CAP reception in any new rule we may adopt.” NTIA believes that it is premature to fund CAP equipment for public broadcasting facilities until the FCC clarifies the CAP requirements for station participation in the EAS and, therefore, will not accept applications for CAP equipment at this time.
        5. Limitations on Expenditure of Federal, Local, and CPB Funds; Use of Donated Equipment; Disposal of Equipment.  All applicants are strongly encouraged to review Section III. B. for information the Expenditure of Local Matching Funds, Start Date to Obligate Federal Funds, Use of CPB Funds, Use of Owned or Donated Equipment, and Disposal of Equipment.
        6.  Division of Radio and Television Funds. When making FY 2011 grants, NTIA will ensure that “a substantial amount” of PTFP funds will be awarded for “the expansion and development of noncommercial radio broadcast station facilities” per the requirements of 47 U.S.C. §393(c).

    3.  Television Broadcasting 

      1. Changes in the Priorities and Deletion of Broadcast Other Cases Subpriorities A and B.  The FCC’s Fifth Report and Order in April 1997 announced a phased plan to transition all television stations in the United States to digital broadcasting. In 2000, NTIA responded by making major policy changes in the PTFP program and dividing the Broadcast Other Cases category into several Subpriorities.[7]  Given that all full-powered public television stations have been broadcasting in digital since the Congressionally mandated deadline of June 12, 2009, NTIA believes that the digital conversion of public television stations is essentially at an end.[8] 
        NTIA, therefore, is not continuing the Subpriorities in the Broadcast Other category used since FY 2000 for digital conversion. During the FY 2011 grant round, PTFP will return to the Priorities and Categories as contained in Section 2310.4 of the PTFP Rules.[9] 
             NTIA recognizes that there may be some full-power public television stations that have not completed digital conversion of all of their broadcast equipment.  NTIA believes that any remaining digital conversion projects can be accommodated within the PTFP Priorities and Categories contained in §2301.4.

      2. FY 2011 Procedures for Processing Television Applications.  For FY 2011, NTIA will consider the following during its processing of television applications:
        1. Replacement of analog master control and production equipment.  While all full- power public television stations are now broadcasting in digital, NTIA recognizes that some stations still rely on analog equipment for some of their master control or production needs. As public television stations become public media providers, they distribute programming through many technologies, including multicasting using over-the-air digital broadcasting, direct linkages to cable companies and other similar service providers, distribution through the Internet and broadband connections, dedicated programming directed to handheld mobile television receivers, and other potential digital technologies. The basic station infrastructure of master control and production equipment must be able to originate, store and distribute digital signals to support these multiple digital delivery platforms. Even if a station were only to broadcast a single channel of digital programming, it must have the digital infrastructure so the station can originate local programming at a technical level that is compatible and comparable in quality with productions available from national sources or other local stations. Given the age of remaining analog master control and production equipment and the almost universal adoption of digital equipment by the television broadcasting industry in the United States, NTIA believes that it is now appropriate to consider the replacement of any remaining analog master control and production equipment as urgent replacement projects under Priority 2 or Priority 4A of the PTFP Rules .[10]  
        2. Digital transmission equipment at full-power stations. NTIA recognizes that the conversion of full-power stations from analog to digital broadcasting resulted in a reduction of service area for several stations. While stations have had the period since June 2009 to address any reduction of their service areas, NTIA will continue to accept applications for Distributed Transmission System (DTS) and replacement digital television translator services as authorized by the FCC to restore signals to former analog viewers as well as applications that 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 by channel changes. Because these projects would fulfill NTIA’s mandate to “extend delivery of public telecommunications services to as many citizens of the United States as possible by the most efficient and economical means,”[11] they will be placed in Priority 1B.[12]
        3. Digital conversion of analog translators.  While all full-power television stations in the United States completed the conversion to digital broadcasting by June 2009, Congress and the FCC have permitted television translators, Low-Power Television (LPTV) Stations, Class A stations and television booster stations to continue analog broadcasting. The analog broadcasts of low-power facilities, however, are now nearing an end. On September 17, 2010, the FCC announced that it would establish a deadline for the digital conversion of these low-power facilities, perhaps as early as December 31, 2011, for some facilities.[13] NTIA is aware that nearly 500 translators and LPTV stations provide the only public television service available in many rural areas of the country. The September FCC Notice creates increased urgency that these facilities convert to digital broadcasting technologies to ensure the continued availability of public television to all citizens in the country.
               Because of the increased urgency created by the approaching FCC deadline, digital translator projects for the upgrade of existing analog facilities remain eligible for PTFP funding during the FY 2011 grant round. This will enable public television licensees to undertake this lengthy and costly conversion and will fulfill NTIA’s mandate to “extend delivery of public telecommunications services to as many citizens of the United States as possible by the most efficient and economical means.”[14]  These applications will be placed in the Broadcast Other Cases category.[15]
               The Digital Television Transition and Public Safety Act of 2005 established another program within NTIA that will assist commercial as well as noncommercial translators, Class A and Low-Power Television facilities to make the digital transition.
               Under section 3009 of the Act, NTIA can award reimbursement grants to upgrade translators, Class A and Low-Power stations from analog to digital in eligible rural communities.[16]   This new grant program, the Low-Power Television and Translator Upgrade Program (Upgrade Program), published its guidelines in the May 12, 2009, Federal Register and is entirely separate from the PTFP.[17]  The Upgrade Program is not being conducted under the PTFP Rules. Under the Upgrade Program, applicants may receive grants of up to $20,000 to upgrade eligible analog translators to digital. While the Upgrade Program provides funds on a reimbursement basis, no local match is required and applications are accepted monthly until all funds are expended.
               As of January 2011, NTIA had approximately $33 million available for Upgrade Program grants. Applicants considering projects to upgrade analog translators to digital should review the Upgrade Program guidelines prior to submitting an application to PTFP to determine which program best meets their needs. [18]  For the efficient processing of PTFP applications, and because the eligibility, funding requirements and processing timetable of the PTFP are so different from the Upgrade Program or other potential Federally funded programs, NTIA will not accept or process requests for PTFP funding of conversion of analog low-power facilities to digital submitted to CPB, the Upgrade Program or to another Federally funded program.
        4. Replacement of analog translators. As noted in the prior section, the FCC has announced that it would establish a deadline for the digital conversion of low-power facilities. NTIA, therefore, has determined that it should no longer invest PTFP funds in the replacement of analog translators and LPTV facilities with analog equipment. NTIA will return such applications without consideration. 
        5. Establishment of new digital translators or major modifications to existing digital facilities. NTIA will place applications that are intended to provide new service and applications resulting from major modification to existing facilities within the standard PTFP Priorities (usually including digital translators) 1B, 2, or 4A. As noted earlier, NTIA will place within Priority 1B applications for DTS and replacement digital television translators intended to restore service to former analog viewers.
        6. Stand-by Power Generators and Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) units.
               PTFP regards stand-by power generators and uninterruptible power supply units as essential equipment for public television stations participating in the national Warning, Alert, and Response Network (WARN) or when an applicant has documented a pattern of frequent transmitter power outages accompanied by delayed restoration of power. Station activation projects have included stand-by power equipment only if justified by circumstances at the site where the transmitter was to be installed.
               NTIA will place applications seeking such equipment in Priority 2 or Priority 4A, according to the category in which the applicant otherwise qualifies for equipment replacement projects. PTFP is prepared to support only the minimum level of equipment required to keep a station’s signal on the air. PTFP will consider emergency power for origination equipment in addition to transmission equipment when the applicant demonstrates that such equipment is integral to the emergency service it provides. Applicants requesting UPS or generators must specify (1) whether the requested systems are UPS and/or generators and for which locations they are (e.g., master control, transmitter, intermediate microwave site), (2) the KVA rating of the requested system, and what loads are being served, and (3) the size of any additional fuel tanks requested and the number of days of extended operation the fuel tanks would support. [19]  PTFP does not contemplate supporting stand-by generators and UPS units to provide emergency power to entire facilities.
               Pursuant to Section 606(b) of the SAFE Ports Act (Pub. L. 109-347), NTIA granted funds to the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) to install equipment at public television facilities to meet FCC requirements that public television stations install equipment and technologies to enable the stations to distribute geo-targeted emergency alerts to participating Commercial Mobile Service Alert providers as part of the WARN. 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.
        7. Closed Captioning, Video Description, Common Alerting Protocol (CAP) and CALM Equipment. Recent Congressional and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) actions could have an impact on certain equipment public television broadcasters are required to install.
          1. Video Description and Closed Captioning Equipment.  For many years, PTFP has included on the list of eligible costs equipment required to add closed captioning to television programming. PTFP regards closed captioning equipment as essential equipment. In September 2010, the Congress passed the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010, Public Law 111-260 (S. 3304), regarding closed captioning and video descriptions. The Accessibility Act requires that the FCC engage in a rulemaking to reinstate video description regulations contained in the Implementation of Video Description of Video Programming Report and Order (15 F.C.C.R. 15,230 (2000), as modified by the Accessibility Act. The Act further requires the FCC to issue regulations requiring the closed captioning of video programming on the Internet that was exhibited on television. The timelines contained in the Act make it unlikely that any FCC requirements imposed on public television stations would be effective prior to the issuance of FY 2011 PTFP awards. NTIA, therefore, will not accept PTFP applications during the FY 2011 grant cycle for equipment in anticipation of requirements that may be imposed under the Accessibility Act. NTIA will, however, accept applications seeking replacement of closed captioning equipment required to comply with FCC requirements in effect as of the date of publication of this FFO. NTIA will place these applications in Priority 2 or Priority 4A, according to the category in which the applicant otherwise qualifies for equipment replacement projects. 
          2. Common Alerting Protocol (CAP) Equipment.  On September 30, 2010, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) adopted the CAP digital message format for the next generation of the broadcast-based Emergency Alert System (EAS). FCC regulations (47 C.F.R. §11.56) require that EAS participating stations must be able to receive CAP messages within 180 days of FEMA’s adoption of the CAP (i.e., March 29, 2011). After reviewing petitions for an extension filed by a wide industry coalition (including the National Association of Broadcasters, the National Cable and Telecommunications Association, the Society of Broadcast Engineers, the Public Broadcasting System, National Public Radio and forty-six State Broadcasters Associations) the FCC granted an extension of the deadline until September 30, 2011 [See In the Matter of Review of the Emergency Alert System] (Order FCC #10-191 Released November 23, 2010). In the Order, however, the FCC stated that “[W]e intend to revisit the issue of CAP acceptance by EAS Participants, in an upcoming notice of proposed rulemaking undertaking a comprehensive review of the impact of CAP on our Part 11 rules, including the CAP reception rule and the issue of Commission certification under its Part 11 rules of CAP compliant equipment… [W]e will seek comment on whether the extension for CAP acceptance by EAS participants granted in this waiver order is sufficient, and reserve the right to further extend the date for CAP reception in any new rule we may adopt.” NTIA believes that it is premature to fund CAP equipment for public broadcasting facilities until the FCC clarifies the CAP requirements for station participation in the EAS and, therefore, will not accept applications for CAP equipment at this time.
          3. CALM Act Equipment. The Commercial Advertisement Loudness Mitigation Act or the ‘‘CALM Act’’ (Pub. L. 111-311) became law in December 2010 and requires that the FCC establish a regulation within one year of passage adopting the Advanced Television Systems Committee A/85 “Recommended Practice: Techniques for Establishing and Maintaining Audio Loudness for Digital Television.” Television broadcast stations would be required to comply with the Commission’s regulation within one year of adoption by the FCC, unless the station received a waiver. The timeline contained in the Act makes it unlikely that any FCC requirements imposed on public television stations would be effective prior to the issuance of FY 2011 PTFP awards. NTIA, therefore, will not accept PTFP applications during the FY 2011 grant cycle for equipment in anticipation of requirements that may be imposed under the CALM Act.
        8. Mobile Video Transmission Equipment. In October 2009, the Advanced Television System Committee adopted a Mobile/Handheld Digital Television Standard (A/153) which supports digital television broadcasts to mobile receivers. Although A/153 has not been formally adopted by the Commission, it is a subsidiary element of the A/53 standard adopted by the FCC for digital television broadcasting, and its use is permitted by the FCC.[20] NTIA understands that several public television stations have begun, or will soon begin, experimental mobile digital broadcasts. Mobile television is an emerging technology and few mobile television receivers are currently available in the marketplace. Because NTIA has limited funds to distribute through the PTFP, it will not accept applications for mobile television transmission equipment during the FY 2011 PTFP grant round, but will support the basic infrastructure needs of stations required to produce and disseminate public television programming through a variety of technologies, including multicasting using over-the-air digital broadcasting, direct linkages to cable companies and other similar service providers, distribution through the Internet and broadband connections, Mobile DTV programming directed to handheld mobile television receivers, and other potential digital technologies.
        9. Funding levels for television projects For FY 2011, NTIA will continue the general presumption of 50 percent Federal funding for television replacement, improvement and augmentation projects, which is in accordance with Section 2301.6(b)(1)(ii) of the PTFP Final Rules.
               NTIA recognizes that many small stations, primarily in rural areas, will be unable to raise even a 50 percent local share of the funds required for their PTFP projects. NTIA has long permitted stations to request more than the standard level of Federal support upon a showing of “extraordinary need” per Section 2301.6(b)(1)(ii) of the PTFP Final Rules. NTIA will continue to permit any applicant to provide justification that it has an “extraordinary need” for Federal funding up to the legal limit of 75 percent of eligible project costs. PTFP will evaluate the justification for the increased amount.
               Because of the emphasis NTIA places on the extension of broadcast services to unserved areas, NTIA has retained the 75 percent level of Federal funding for applications proposing new television facilities in Priority 1 (see § 2301.4(b)(1) of the PTFP Final Rules).
        10. Coordination with CPB and the Rural Utilities Service (RUS), U.S. Department of Agriculture.  NTIA is aware that CPB and RUS have grant programs focused on projects to convert public television stations to digital broadcasting. For the efficient processing of PTFP applications, and because the eligibility, funding requirements and processing timetable of PTFP are so different from that of CPB or RUS, NTIA will not accept or process requests for PTFP funding for the purchase of television equipment submitted to CPB or RUS. It is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure that no PTFP-funded equipment is funded by another of these grant programs.
        11. Division of Television and Radio Funds.  When making FY 2011 grants, NTIA will ensure that “a substantial amount” of PTFP funds will be awarded for “the expansion and development of noncommercial radio broadcast station facilities,” per the requirements of 47 U.S.C. § 393(c).
      3. Limitations on Expenditure of Federal, Local, and CPB Funds, Use of Donated Equipment; Disposal of Equipment.  All applicants are strongly encouraged to review Section III. B. for information the Expenditure of Local Matching Funds, Start Date to Obligate Federal Funds, Use of CPB Funds, Use of Owned or Donated Equipment, and Disposal of Equipment.

    4. Distance Learning and Nonbroadcast Projects
           Since 1979, NTIA has funded nonbroadcast distance learning projects through the Special Applications category as established in § 2301.4(a) of the PTFP Final Rules. NTIA encourages applications for innovative or unique distance learning projects which address demonstrated and substantial community needs. For fiscal year 2010, NTIA awarded $104,500 in funds to one grantee for a distance learning project.
           The growth of digital technologies provides new opportunities for distance learning projects using both broadcast and nonbroadcast facilities. NTIA encourages applicants to consider the use of digital technologies in proposing unique or innovative distance learning projects for funding in FY 2010. Examples of innovative digital applications include projects that (1) use broadband technologies for distance learning, (2) distribute educational or informational programming via Direct Broadcast Satellite technologies, (3) provide multi-media content using the digital television transmission infrastructure and delivered through a method that is not a typical broadcast channel, or (4) incorporate video, voice, graphics and data capabilities for online distance learning services. NTIA also encourages applicants to consider broadcast projects which use the multi-channel capacity of digital television to provide innovative distance learning projects.
           All PTFP distance learning applications must address substantial and demonstrated needs of the communities being served. NTIA is particularly interested in distance learning projects which benefit traditionally underserved audiences, such as projects serving minorities, people living in rural communities, or those living in disadvantaged areas where distance learning services will provide significant educational opportunities.
           The November 22, 1991, PTFP Policy Statement (56 FR 59168 (1991)) mentioned in the Application Forms and Regulations section discussed a number of issues of particular relevance to applicants proposing nonbroadcast educational and instructional projects and potential improvement of nonbroadcast facilities. These policies remain in effect and NTIA will include them in the Guidelines for preparing FY 2011 PTFP applications.

  2. Award Information

         NTIA funding assistance is in the form of grants. Issuance of grants is subject to the availability of FY 2011 funds. At this time, the Congress has passed the Continuing Appropriations Amendments, 2011, Title I of Pub. L. 111-322 to fund operations of the PTFP through March 4, 2011. Further notice will be made about the final status of funding for this program at the appropriate time.
         The amount of any grants awarded by NTIA will vary, depending on the approved projects. For FY 2010, NTIA awarded $20 million in PTFP funds to 125 projects, including 73 radio awards, 51 television awards and one nonbroadcast award. The radio awards ranged from $4,832 to $466,389. The television awards ranged from $9,234 to $821,707. One nonbroadcast award was made for $104,500.
         Grants are customarily awarded with a start date of October 1.
         Construction Grant award periods customarily range from one year to eighteen months. NTIA presumes that a one-year award period will be sufficient for equipment replacement applications, due to the urgency for replacement expressed in the application and the nature of the equipment. Because projects activating new stations or transmission facilities usually require installation of towers and antennas, NTIA presumes that these projects will require an award period of eighteen months. Planning Grant award periods customarily are for one year. These customary project periods may be varied based on the specific circumstances of an individual proposal. Applicants requiring additional time should address their need in the Project Objectives section of the application’s Program Narrative and provide further justification, if necessary, in Exhibit B, Equipment Justification. NTIA may approve extension of the award period for good cause. NTIA does not consider waiting for the equipment exhibits at the annual National Association of Broadcaster’s NAB Show the next April after an award is received as good cause justifying an extension.
     
  3. Eligibility Information

    1. Eligible Applicants

           To apply for and receive a PTFP Construction or Planning Grant, an applicant must be: (a) a public or noncommercial educational broadcast station; (b) a noncommercial telecommunications entity; (c) a system of public telecommunications entities; (d) a non-profit foundation, corporation, institution, or association organized primarily for educational or cultural purposes; or (e) a state, local, or Indian tribal government (or agency thereof), or a political or special purpose subdivision of a state.
           Non-profit organizations that have never received a PTFP grant must supply (1) a certified copy of their Articles of Incorporation, (2) their By-laws, and (3) their IRS 501(c)(3) letter. An organization that is a government agency/entity, Indian Tribe, or non-profit organization that has received a prior PTFP grant does not have to submit further documentation of eligibility, unless requested.
           An applicant whose proposal requires an authorization from the FCC before it can be constructed must be eligible to receive such authorization. No award will be made until the FCC notifies NTIA that the necessary authorization has been or will be granted.
           If an applicant does not meet the eligibility requirements, the application will be rejected and returned without further consideration. An applicant may request a preliminary determination of eligibility any time prior to the Closing Date.

    2. Matching Funds Requirements

           All PTFP Construction grantees are required to provide local matching funds. No part of a grantee’s matching share of the eligible project costs may be met with funds paid by the Federal government, except where the use of such funds to meet a Federal matching requirement is specifically and expressly authorized by the relevant Federal statute. Funds supplied to an applicant by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) may be used as a match only upon a clear and compelling showing of need.
           PTFP matching requirements are summarized in the following table and explained below.

      Priority
      Presumed Federal Share for PTFP Projects
       
      Type of Project
      Television
      Radio
      Construction Applications
      1A
      First Radio or TV signal in a community with local origination 75 percent 75 percent
      1B
      First Radio or TV signal in a community without local origination 75 percent 75 percent
      Applicant's second Radio or TV facility in a community;
      (e.g., Upgrade of translator to repeater; Power/coverage upgrades)
      50 percent 50 percent
      All other Radio and Television projects 50 percent 50 percent
      All Nonbroadcast projects 50 percent 50 percent
      Planning Applications
      All Radio, TV and Nonbroadcast Applications 75 percent 75 percent
       
      Any applicant can provide justification requesting up to 75 percent for a Construction project or up to 100 percent for a Planning project. The justification will be evaluated by PTFP.


      1. Construction Applications

             A PTFP Construction Grant may not, by statute, exceed 75 percent of the amount determined by NTIA to be the reasonable and necessary cost of the project. NTIA has set specific Federal percentages for various types of projects, as follows:
             NTIA provides the same Federal funding share for radio and television Priority 1 signal expansion applications. The funding limitations for Priority 1A and 1B signal expansion applications were discussed in detail in the earlier section regarding Radio Broadcasting signal expansion. In summary, the funding presumption for Priority 1A radio and television applications is a 75 percent Federal share of eligible project costs. The funding presumption for Priority 1B radio and television applications is either a 75 percent Federal share or a 50 percent Federal share as explained in the earlier section.
             The general presumption for funding all other radio, television and nonbroadcast applications is a 50 percent Federal share.
             Any applicant can provide additional justification for additional funding up to the statutory limit. The justification will be evaluated by PTFP.

      2. Planning Applications
             The Agency may provide up to 100 percent of the funds necessary for the planning of a public telecommunications construction project. The general presumption for projects to plan for a public telecommunications construction project is, however, a 75 percent Federal funding of eligible project costs. NTIA will take into consideration a showing of extraordinary need as part of the normal application evaluation process for Planning Grants of up to 100 percent of the total eligible project cost.

      3. General Provisions

        1. Owned Equipment. The total project costs of Construction Grants do not normally include the value of eligible apparatus owned or acquired by the applicant prior to the Closing Date. NTIA will consider inclusion of equipment purchased prior to the Closing Date on a case-by-case basis only when the applicant provides a clear and compelling justification. Obligating funds — either in whole or in part — for equipment before the Closing Date is considered ownership or acquisition of equipment. In like manner, accepting title to donated equipment prior to the Closing Date is considered ownership or acquisition of equipment.

        2. Donated Equipment.  If donated equipment is to be used as part of the local match, the application should include a certified appraisal from a qualified, independent engineer as to the age, fair market value, and remaining useful life of the donated items.  In addition, the applicant must include a letter from the donor confirming the donation.

        3. Start date to obligate Federal funds. No funds from the Federal share of the total project cost may be obligated until the Grant Award Period start date.[21]  If an applicant or recipient obligates anticipated Federal Award funds before the start date, the Department may refuse to offer the award or, if the award has already been granted, disallow those costs of the grant. After the Closing Date, the applicant may, at its own risk, obligate non-Federal matching funds for the acquisition of proposed equipment.

        4. Expenditure of local matching funds.
               Applicants will be required to follow Section 2301.6(d) of the PTFP Final Rules, in that applicants will be able to expend their local matching funds only after the Closing Date for this grant round.
               Section 2301.6(b)(2) of the PTFP Final Rules permits an applicant to use equipment acquired prior to the Closing Date for receipt of applications “on a case-by-case basis only when clear and compelling justifications are provided to PTFP.” NTIA also notes that funds received from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting can be used as local matching funds only in circumstances of “clear and compelling need” (15 CFR § 2301.6(c)(2)).  
        5. Use of Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) matching funds. Under the PTFP Rules, NTIA has limited the use of CPB funds for the non-federal share of PTFP projects to circumstances of “clear and compelling need” (15 CFR § 2301.6(c)(2).

        6. Disposal of equipment within the 10-year Federal Interest Period.  Under PTFP’s legislation (47 U.S.C. § 392(g)), NTIA retains a ten-year interest in equipment funded by PTFP.[22]  Applications must clearly identify any equipment proposed to replace PTFP-funded equipment that is within the ten-year interest period. The application must also provide a plan regarding the use or disposition of the equipment to be replaced so the Federal interest may continue to be protected. The applicant’s plan may include (1) the use of transmission equipment as standby transmission equipment by the applicant, (2) sale of equipment at fair market value and a return of a portion of the proceeds to PTFP for award to other applicants, or (3) transfer of NTIA’s remaining fiduciary interest to other broadcast equipment not purchased with PTFP funds.

        7. Proportionate Expenditure of Grant Funds. The Department of Commerce expects grantees to spend local matching funds at a rate at least equal to the ratio of the local match to the Federal grant as stipulated in the grant award (usually 50 per cent local, 50 per cent Federal). This means that a grantee cannot spend all the Federal grant funds before using local matching funds. All requests for Federal funds must show a proportionate contribution of local matching funds. The Department provides Federal funds on a reimbursement basis, or for an advance of no more than 30 days prior to expenditure.

    3. Other

      1. NTIA evaluates each PTFP application that is filed in a timely manner, is materially complete, and proposes an eligible project according to the six criteria described in Section V, below. The first two criteria are qualifying criteria. They are “Applicant Qualifications” and “Financial Qualifications.” NTIA will consider for further review those applications meeting the minimum qualifications on these criteria.
      2. There is no limit on the number of applications an applicant may submit in any one grant round.
      3. NTIA will defer applications not funded in this grant round. The unsuccessful applicant must reactivate the deferred application pursuant to § 2301.9 of the PTFP Final Rules in order to be considered in a subsequent grant round. Applicants reactivating a deferred application from the FY 2010 grant cycle must submit a complete application in FY 2011. PTFP will retain unsuccessful FY 2010 applications through the Closing Date of the FY 2011 grant cycle. Unsuccessful applications not reactivated by the Closing Date of the FY 2011 grant cycle will be destroyed. Applicants may reactivate a deferred application no more than two times after the initial submission.
      4. PTFP will not award a new grant to an applicant that is out of compliance with the terms and conditions of a prior PTFP grant, including the requirement for timely submission of quarterly performance reports, documents to fulfill special award conditions, financial status reports, close-out reports, and annual status reports.

  4. Application and Submission Information

    1. Availability of Application Information

           Application Forms, PTFP Final Rules, Closing Date notification and application guidelines materials may be obtained electronically via the Internet at www.ntia.doc.gov/ptfp. The entire application may be downloaded from the Internet and several forms can be prepared electronically using PTFP’s On-Line Fillable Form. Application materials can also be found on the Internet at Grants.gov, the U.S. Government’s central storehouse for information on over 1,000 grant programs.

    2. Content and Form of Application Submission

           All applicants must use the official OMB-approved Application Forms as listed below for the FY 2010 grant cycle. These forms include a combination of government-wide Standard Forms (SF 424, SF 424A, SF 424B), Commerce Department forms (CD-511, SF-LLL), and PTFP forms (PTFP-2, PTFP-4, PTFP-5).
           To apply for a PTFP grant, an applicant must file an original and five copies of a complete application in paper form or submit the application electronically through Grants.gov, as noted below. As noted above, the Application Form is available on the Internet and, upon request, will be provided in printed form. PTFP does not accept pre-applications.
           All Forms required for a PTFP application, and the On-Line Fillable Form, are available on the Internet at www.ntia.doc.gov/ptfp/Application/appform.htm.  Applicants can complete many parts of the PTFP application on the Internet using the On-Line Fillable Form found on the PTFP website. This form requires no special software. Applicants will be able to save, edit and print their forms. The software will complete all math, transfer and place correct figures in appropriate locations, provide help for each question, and check for common errors. The form must be printed and submitted with original signatures. PTFP does not accept facsimile or email applications.
           You may also submit your application electronically by completing the application forms available at the Grants.gov website. If your organization is not registered with Grants.gov, it must do so at www.grants.gov/applicants/get_registered.jsp. The Grants.gov website indicates that the “registration process for an organization can take between three to five business days or as long as four weeks if all steps are not completed in a timely manner.” Applications filed electronically through Grants.gov do not need the original signatures as required below.
           A complete application includes the following items:
      • SF 424 Form, “Application for Federal Assistance” which provides general information about the applicant, the type of project submitted, and the estimated project cost. This form is a certification and the original application must contain an original signature from an authorized representative of the applicant organization.
      • DUNS number must be entered into item 8(c) of the SF 424. All applicants (nonprofit, state, local government, universities, and tribal organizations) are required to provide a Dun and Bradstreet Data Universal Numbering System (UNS) number when applying for Federal grants. See the October 30, 2002 (67 FR 66177), and April 8, 2003 (68 FR 17000), Federal Register notices for additional information. Organizations can receive a DUNS number at no cost by calling the dedicated toll-free DUNS Number request line 1-866-705-5711 or via the Internet at http://fedgov.dnb.com/webform.
      • PTFP-2 Form, “Application for PTFP Funds” which requests information specific to the PTFP application, such as the classification of the project, the Priority under which you request the application be reviewed, public broadcasting affiliations (if any), and FCC authorizations required for the project (if any).
      • SF 424A Form, “Budget Information — Non-Construction Programs.”   This form is required from all applicants, in spite of the reference to “non-construction” programs.[23]  All applicants must submit only page 1 of the form, and complete only the appropriate lines in item 6, column 1.
      • PTFP-4 Form, “Eligible Equipment.”  A listing of equipment and costs requested for a Construction Grant.  (Not required for Planning Grants.)
      • Planning Budget Detail and Narrative. Applicants for planning projects must provide a budget detail and budget narrative that provides a line item breakdown of project costs within each budget category shown on lines 6a-6k, as appropriate, on the SF 424A Form and that provides sufficient explanation of each budget category in order to establish the need for the funds in each category, and the basis for figures used and how they were calculated.
      • Program Narrative is required from all applicants. It should address the six evaluation criteria described below in Section V. There is a five-page limitation on responses to the first five criteria. (If more discussion of any point is necessary, applicants can supply additional information in an optional exhibit, cross-referenced from the Narrative.) The Narrative should be printed on only one side of the page, have one-inch margins all around, and be in 12-point Times New Roman or its actual equivalent in size. A suggested outline for preparingthe Narrative is included in the online and printed versions of the application materials.
      • PTFP-5 Form, “Exhibit A — Inventory” is required only from Construction Grant applicants. It is an inventory of the equipment owned by the applicant that corresponds to the equipment requested in the application, or is closely associated with the requested equipment. It should include equipment owned or on order as of the application date and also equipment authorized by any prior PTFP award but not yet ordered.
      • Exhibit B, “Equipment Justification” is required only from Construction Grant applicants. It is a narrative explaining the need for the specific equipment requested. Applicants for equipment replacement, improvement, or augmentation projects should thoroughly document the need and urgency of the equipment requested. They are encouraged to submit the following types of documentation to support the urgency of equipment replacement: copies of maintenance logs, letters documenting the unavailability of parts, independent engineers’ evaluations, and photographs. This narrative should be printed on only one side of the page, have one-inch margins all around, and be in 12-point Times New Roman or its actual equivalent in size. (Applicants should note that age alone is insufficient justification for replacing equipment.)
      • Exhibit C, “Five-Year Equipment Plan” is required from all Construction Grant applicants. The statute authorizing PTFP requires applicants to submit “a 5-year plan outlining the applicant’s projected facilities requirements and the projected costs of such facilities requirements.” Applicants should indicate how the equipment being requested is compatible with other existing equipment in their facilities, and is consistent with their long-range plans and projections for the overall integration of equipment in their facilities. PTFP does not specify the format to be used. This information should be printed on only one side of the page, have one-inch margins all around, and be in 12-point Times New Roman or its actual equivalent in size.
      • Exhibit D, “Maps/Documentation of Coverage”is required only with applications proposing construction of new broadcast or distance learning facilities; or applicants claiming to be a sole-service station qualifying for Priority 2, but which have significant signal overlap with other stations in the coverage area. These applications should provide maps of the facility’s coverage area and documentation of the number of people receiving service. In the case of broadcast applications, information should be provided regarding the number of people receiving “first service” or “sole service” and “added service” for those already receiving a public broadcasting signal from another station. In the case of distance learning applications, information should be provided regarding the number of people to be served by the project.
      • Exhibit E, “Letters of Support” is requested from applicants seeking funds to activate a new public radio or television station or distance learning facility. Letters should document community support for, and interest in, the services the new facility would provide. Letters should also be submitted from any partner mentioned in the application whose support is critical to the success of the project (e.g., landlord at proposed tower site, partners in new programming initiatives).
      • Exhibit F, “Distribution Agreements.”  These are required only from Construction Grant applicants who rely on someone else’s facilities to distribute programming that the applicant produces. Copies of Distribution Agreements are usually required from cable access channels, radio/TV reading services produced by non-licensee organizations, users of satellite transponder time, and production houses that do not operate stations. (Public broadcasting entities do not need to submit agreements with PBS, NPR, PRI, etc.)
      • Exhibit G, “Eligibility Documents.”   Non-profit organizations that have never received a PTFP grant must supply (1) a certified copy of their Articles of Incorporation, (2) their By-laws, and (3) their IRS 501(c)(3) letter in this exhibit. An organization that is a government agency/entity, Indian Tribe, or non-profit organization that has received a prior PTFP grant does not have to submit further documentation of eligibility, unless requested.
      • Exhibits  H through Z — Optional. These are for an applicant to use to submit materials PTFP has not requested but that the applicant believes support its application. Applicants should NOT submit recordings of any kind — tapes, cassettes, DVDs, CDs, etc.; any received will be destroyed without being considered.
      • SF 424B Form, “Assurances — Non-Construction Programs.”  (Place under Exhibit AA).  This form is required from all applicants, in spite of the reference to “non-construction” programs, and must have an original signature on the second page.[24] 
      • Department of Commerce Form CD-511, “Certification Regarding Lobbying.”  (Place under Exhibit AA).  This form is required from all applicants and must have an original signature.  
      • Standard Form LLL, “Disclosure of Lobbying Activities.”  (Place under Exhibit AA).  This form is required from all applicants that employ lobbyists in an effort to obtain a grant. 
      • Department of Commerce Form CD-346 — “Applicant for Funding Assistance.”   The CD-346 is NO LONGER REQUIRED of applicants to the PTFP, but may be requested by the Department if an award is offered.  Please DO NOT SUBMIT CD-346 forms at this time.
      • Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Documents.  These are required of all Construction Grant applicants whose projects require new FCC authorization. No grant will be awarded for a project requiring FCC authorization for construction until confirmation is received by NTIA/PTFP from the FCC that the necessary authorization has been or will be issued. In order for PTFP to evaluate the need for the equipment requested, copies of the following FCC applications (or equivalent engineering data) and licenses relevant to the project must be submitted with the PTFP application. This includes applications for permits, construction permits, and licenses already received for:
        • Construction of a broadcast station or translator
        • Microwave facilities
        • ITFS authorizations
        • SCA authorization.
        • Requests for Extension of Time
        • Studio-to-transmitter links (STLs)
        • Remote pick-up units
        • Satellite uplinks.
           After an application has completed the review process described in the next section, Section V, Application Review Information, applicants selected for negotiation may be asked to revise and resubmit appropriate portions of the application.
            Notwithstanding any other provision of the law, no person is required to respond to, nor shall any person be subject to a penalty for failure to comply with, a collection of information subject to the requirements of the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA), unless that collection displays a currently valid Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Control Number. The PTFP application form has been cleared under OMB control no. 0660-0003.

    3. Submission Dates and Times

           All complete applications must be received at the PTFP office no later than 5:00 p.m., Eastern Time, on Thursday, March 17, 2011. NTIA does not accept a postmark as proof of meeting the PTFP deadline. NTIA does not accept fax or email application submissions, or weekend deliveries. Applicants must ensure that the carrier they use guarantees delivery of the application by the Closing Date. Applicants should note that all material sent via the U.S. Postal Service (including “Overnight” or “Express Mail”) is subject to delivery delays of up to two weeks due to mail security procedures at the Department of Commerce. If an application is received after the Closing Date due to (1) carrier error, when the carrier accepted the package with a guarantee for delivery by the Closing Date and Time, or (2) significant weather delays or natural disasters, NTIA will, upon receipt of proper documentation, consider the application as having been received by the deadline. NTIA will not accept applications posted on the Closing Date or later and received after the deadline.
           Applications submitted electronically via the Grants.gov website must be received and time- stamped by Grants.gov by 5:00 p.m., Eastern Time on the Closing Date. Applicants planning to submit an application electronically via the Grants.gov website should take into consideration computer-related difficulties that may arise during the submission of an electronic filing. NTIA will not be responsible for any computer problems that delay the submission of last-minute electronic filings. Applications time-stamped by Grants.gov after 5:00 p.m., Eastern Time on the Closing Date will be returned.
           Applicants submitting applications by hand delivery are notified that all packages must be cleared by the Department of Commerce security office. Entrance to the Department of Commerce Building for security clearance is through entrance #10 on the 15th Street side of the building.
           As soon as possible after the Closing Date, NTIA will notify the designated Administrative Contacts of all applicants by email or postcard that their submissions have been received and giving the file number assigned to each application.
           Applications not received by the deadline will be returned to the applicant. NTIA will also reject and return any application that is materially incomplete, or when it finds that either the applicant or the project is ineligible for funding. NTIA will inform applicants of the reason for the return of any application.

    4. Intergovernmental Review/State Single Point of Contact

           PTFP applications are subject to Executive Order 12372, “Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs” if the state in which the applicant organization is located participates in the process. Applicants need only submit to the State Single Point of Contact (SPOC) the SF 424 and PTFP-2 pages of the application, but the cover letter to the SPOC should state that a copy of the rest of the application is available upon request. The PTFP Internet site has a link to the Office of Management and Budget’s home page (Application Process/Single Point of Contact) http://www.ntia.doc.gov/otiahome/ptfp/application/spo.htm which has the names and addresses of the SPOC offices. Applicants may directly access the OMB Internet site at (http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/grants_spoc).

    5. State Telecom Agency Review
           PTFP applications are subject to Section 2301.11(b) of the PTFP Rules if the state(s) to be served by the proposed project have a state telecommunications agency with jurisdiction over the development of broadcast and/or nonbroadcast telecommunications in the state. Applicants need only submit to the appropriate State Telecommunications Agency(ies) (STA) the SF 424 and PTFP-2 pages of the application, but the cover letter to the STA(s) should state that a copy of the rest of the application is available upon request. The PTFP Internet site has a listing of the names and addresses of the STA offices under Application Process/State Telecom List. Applicants may directly access the State Telecom List at www.ntia.doc.gov/ptfp/application/statetele.htm.

    6. Funding Restrictions
      1. Construction Grants
             These grants fund only equipment plus installation costs when installation must be performed by contractors. Eligible equipment for the FY 2011 Grant Round includes the apparatus necessary for the production, interconnection, captioning, broadcast, or other distribution of programming, including but not limited to studio equipment; audio and video storage, processing, and switching equipment; terminal equipment; towers; antennas; transmitters; remote control equipment; transmission line; translators; microwave equipment; mobile equipment; satellite communications equipment; instructional television fixed service equipment; subsidiary communications authorization transmitting and receiving equipment; cable television equipment; and optical fiber communications equipment. No buildings are eligible for funding except for small shelters for transmission equipment.
             A complete listing of equipment eligible for funding during the FY 2011 Grant Round is posted on the NTIA Internet site at www.ntia.doc.gov/ptfp/application/equiplist.htm.  The PTFP website gives sample equipment lists for all types of projects to indicate the quantities and quality level the program supports and it also lists eligible and ineligible equipment. NTIA generally does not fund salary expenses, including staff installation costs, and pre-application legal and engineering fees.
      2. Planning Grants
             Salaries are eligible expenses for all planning grant applications, but should be fully described and justified within the application. Planning grants may be expended to lease office equipment, furniture, and space; purchase expendable supplies; and contract with outside consultants. Planning grant applications cannot include the cost of constructing or operating a telecommunications facility.
      3. Audit Costs 
             Audits must be performed in accordance with audit requirements contained in Office of Management and Budget Circular A-133, Audits of States, Local Governments, and Non-Profit Organizations, revised June 30, 1997, and as revised in the Federal Register on June 27, 2003. OMB Circular A-133 requires that non-profit organizations, government agencies, Indian tribes, and educational institutions expending $500,000 or more in Federal funds during a one-year period conduct a single audit in accordance with guidelines outlined in the circular. Other audits may be conducted by the Office of the Inspector General. Most PTFP grant recipients are divisions of state and local governments or are public broadcasting facilities, all of which routinely conduct annual audits. NTIA will, therefore, fund audit costs only in exceptional circumstances.
      4. Indirect Costs 
             Indirect costs for construction applications are not supported by this program. The total dollar amount of the indirect costs proposed in a planning application under this program must not exceed the indirect cost rate negotiated and approved by a cognizant Federal agency prior to the proposed effective date of the award.

    7. PTFP Mailing and Delivery Address for Applications
           The mailing and delivery address for PTFP is:

      NTIA/PTFP
      Room H-4812
      U.S. Department of Commerce
      1401 Constitution Avenue, N.W.
      Washington, DC  20230
           Hand-deliveries of applications must be made through Room 1874, located at entrance #10 on 15th Street, NW.
           PTFP does not accept facsimile submissions, but does provide an On-Line Fillable Form at its Internet site, www.ntia.doc.gov/ptfp and accepts electronic applications submitted through Grants.gov. Further information on the On-Line Fillable Form and Grants.gov is contained in part B of this section, Content and Form of Application Submission, and part C, Submission Dates and Times.

  5. Application Review Information

    1. Criteria

           NTIA will consider each application that is timely received, is materially complete, and proposes an eligible project under the evaluation criteria described here. The first two criteria — Applicant Qualifications and Financial Qualifications — are qualifying criteria. NTIA will consider for further review only applications meeting the minimum qualifications on these criteria. NTIA will weigh the remaining four criteria in the evaluation as follows: Project Objectives and Urgency are given the most weight in the evaluation, Technical/Planning Qualifications and Special Consideration (Involvement of Women and Minorities) are given less weight and are listed in descending order.
           NTIA provides applicants with guidance in the online application materials on meeting each of the six evaluation criteria.
      1. Applicant Qualifications. Documentation that the applicant has or will have the ability to complete the project, including having sufficient qualified personnel to operate and maintain the facility, and to provide services of professional quality.
      2. Financial Qualifications.  Documentation of the applicant’s ability to provide non-Federal funds required for the project, including funds for the local match and funds to cover any ineligible costs required for completion of the project; and to ensure long-term financial support for the continued operation of the facility during the Federal interest period.
      3. Project Objectives.  The degree to which the application documents that the proposed project fulfills the objectives and specific requirements of one or more of the categories set forth in Section I; documents the applicant’s ability to implement the proposed project; and, if applicable, adequately justifies the need for Federal funds in excess of the percentages set out above, at Section III.
      4. Urgency. Justification of funding the proposed project during the current grant cycle, or, if appropriate, that the condition of existing equipment justifies its prompt replacement.
      5.  
        1. Technical Qualifications (construction applicants only). Documentation that the eligible equipment requested is necessary to achieve the objectives of the project; that the proposed costs reflect the most efficient use of Federal funds in achieving project objectives; that the equipment requested meets current industry performance standards (and FCC standards, if appropriate); and that an evaluation of alternative technologies has been completed that justifies the selection of the requested technology (where alternative technologies are possible).
        2. Planning Qualifications (planning applicants only).  Documentation  of the feasibility of the proposed planning process and timetable for achieving the purpose of the project; that costs proposed reflect the most efficient use of Federal funds; that the applicant has sufficient qualified staff or consultants to complete the project with professional results; and that an evaluation of alternative technologies will be incorporated into the plan, as appropriate.
      6. Special Consideration (Involvement of Women and Minorities). For this criterion, applicants should demonstrate that their project will achieve significant diversity in the ownership of, operation of, and participation in public telecommunications facilities. Applicants may demonstrate how their project will better serve the characteristics, values, and attitudes of diverse listeners by promoting the development of more effective programming strategies, conducting station outreach projects, through audience development efforts, and through the participation of minorities and women on the Board of Directors, and in other policy making positions.

      Cost Sharing is not an evaluation criterion.  An applicant’s proposed cost sharing is not one of the evaluation criteria which determines whether a grant is awarded. If the proposed cost sharing is above the funding levels discussed in Section III, the justification provided for the cost sharing is evaluated to determine the level of Federal participation in any eventual award.

    2. Review and Selection Process

           The competitive review process will include an evaluation based on the above criteria by at least three independent reviewers. These reviewers should have demonstrated expertise in either public broadcasting or distance learning and should not be affiliated with organizations that have an application before NTIA/PTFP. The competitive review process may also include evaluation by PTFP staff; technical assessment by engineers; and rating by a national advisory panel, composed of representatives of major national public radio and television organizations. State telecommunications organizations and State Single Point of Contact offices, per Executive Order 12372, also may provide recommendations on applications under consideration.
           PTFP places a summary of applications received on the Internet. Listing an application merely acknowledges receipt of an application to compete for funding with other applications. This listing does not preclude subsequent return of the application or disapproval of the application, nor does it assure that the application will be funded. The listing will also include a request for comments on the applications from any interested party. Applicants must make a copy of their application available for public inspection during normal business hours. Any opposing public comments must contain a certification that a copy of the comments has been delivered to the applicant. NTIA will consider public comment and replies from the applicant during the evaluation of the application.
           The reviewer’s ratings are provided to the PTFP staff and a rank order is prepared by priority and score. The PTFP program staff prepares summary recommendations for the PTFP Director. These recommendations incorporate the review panels’ evaluations and recommendations; technical assessments by engineers; and input from the National Advisory Panels, state Single Point of Contact offices, and state telecommunications agencies. Staff recommendations also consider project impact, the cost/benefit of a project, and whether the review panels consistently applied the evaluation criteria. The PTFP Director considers the summary recommendations prepared by program staff, recommends the funding order of the applications, and presents recommendations to the Associate Administrator, Office of Telecommunications and Information Applications, for review and approval of the recommended slate. The Director’s recommendations and the Associate Administrator’s review and approval take into account the following selection factors:
      1. The program staff recommendations, including the review panels’ evaluations;
      2. The type of projects and broadcast priorities set forth at § 2301.4 of the PTFP Final Rules (see Section I);
      3. Whether the application is for broadcast or a non-broadcast project;
      4. Whether the applicant has any current NTIA grants;
      5. The geographic distribution of the proposed grant awards; and
      6. The availability of funds.
           Upon approval by the Associate Administrator, the Director’s recommendations are presented to the Selecting Official, the NTIA Administrator.  The Administrator makes final award selections taking into consideration the Director’s recommendations and the degree to which the slate of applications, taken as a whole, satisfies the program’s stated purposes.
      Prior to award, applications may be negotiated between PTFP staff and the applicant to resolve any differences between the original request and what NTIA is willing to consider funding.  Some applications may be dropped from the slate due to lack of FCC authorization, an applicant’s inability to make adequate assurances or certifications, or other reasons.  Negotiation of an application does not ensure that a final award will be made. 

    3. Anticipated Announcement and Award Dates
      PTFP grant awards are usually announced toward the end of September with a starting date of October 1.

  6. Award Administration Information

    1. Award Notices
           The National Institute of Standards and Technology, Grants and Agreements Management Division (NIST/GAMD) provides grant administrative services for all PTFP grants.  NIST/GAMD will send each successful applicant a standard Department of Commerce Grant Award package.  The package will contain Form CD-450, containing all of the terms and conditions of the award.  Because the CD-450 signed by the grants officer is the authorizing document and is sent to the applicant’s designated Administrative Contact via overnight delivery service, a street address is very important and must be included on the first page of the application.  Planning Grant award packages include the final approved budget, and Construction Grant award packages list the equipment approved for acquisition with grant funds.  Two copies of the CD-450 must be signed and returned to NIST/GAMD within 30 days.
           The PTFP Director will notify unsuccessful applicants by a letter.  NTIA will designate unsuccessful applications as “deferred.”  Applicants may re-activate a deferred application in the next grant round.  A given application can be considered in a maximum of three grant rounds.
           To enable the use of a universal identifier and to enhance the quality of information available to the public as required by the Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act of 2006, to the extent applicable, any proposal awarded in response to this announcement will be required to use the Central Contractor Registration and Dun and Bradstreet Universal Numbering System and be subject to reporting requirements, as identified in OMB guidance published at 2 CFR Parts 25, 170 (2010).

    2. Administrative and National Policy Requirements

      1. General Conditions
        During the Grant Award Period and the ten-year Federal interest period, the grantee must:
        1. Continue to be an eligible organization;
        2. Obtain and continue to hold any necessary FCC authorization(s);
        3. Use the Federal funds for which the grant was made for the equipment and other expenditures specified in the award document, except that the grantee may substitute other items where necessary or desirable to carry out the purpose of the project if approved in advance in writing by the Department;
        4. Use the facilities, and any monies generated through the use of the facilities, primarily for the provision of public telecommunications services and ensure that any use of the facilities for other than public telecommunications purposes does not interfere with the provision of the public telecommunications services for which the grant was made;
        5. Not make its facilities available to any person for the broadcast or other transmission intended to be received directly by the public of any advertisement, unless such broadcast or transmission is expressly and specifically permitted by law or authorized by the FCC;
        6. State when advertising for bids for the purchase of equipment that the Federal government has an interest in facilities purchased with Federal funds under this program that begins with the purchase of the facilities and continues for ten years after the completion of the project; and
        7. Not use nor allow the use of the Federally funded equipment for purposes the essential thrust of which are sectarian for the useful life of the equipment even when this extends beyond the ten-year Federal interest period.

      2. Payment of Federal Funds

             As a general matter, the Department expects grantees to expend local matching funds at a rate at least equal to the ratio of the local match to the Federal grant as stipulated in the grant award. The Department will not make any payment under an award, unless and until the recipient complies with all relevant requirements. Additionally:
        1. The Department will not make any payment until it receives confirmation that the FCC has granted any necessary authorization;
        2. The Department may not make any payment under an award unless and until all special award conditions stated in the award documents that condition the release of Federal funds are met; and
        3. An agreement to share ownership of the grant equipment (e.g., a joint venture for a tower) must be approved by the Department before any funds for the project will be released.

      3. Protection of Equipment

        1. To ensure that the Federal investment in the facilities funded under the Act will continue to be used to provide public telecommunications services to the public during the Federal interest period, NTIA may require a grantee to execute and record a document establishing that the Federal government has a priority lien on any facilities purchased with funds under the Act during the period of continuing Federal interest, and file a certified copy of the recorded lien with the Administrator 90 days after the grant award is received.
        2. Grantees must maintain protection against common hazards through adequate insurance coverage or other equivalent undertakings, except that, to the extent the applicant follows a different policy of protection with respect to its other property, the applicant may extend such policy to apparatus acquired and installed under the project. The grantee shall purchase flood insurance (in communities where such insurance is available) if the facilities will be constructed in an area that has been identified by the Federal Emergency Management Agency as having special flood hazards.
        3. Grantees may not dispose of or encumber their title or other interest in the equipment acquired under a PTFP grant during the Federal interest period.
        4. Grantees must demonstrate that they have obtained appropriate title or lease satisfactory to protect the Federal interest to the site or sites on which apparatus in the project will be operated. The grantee must have the right to occupy, construct, maintain, operate, inspect, and remove the project equipment without impediment to ensure the continuity of operation of the facility; and nothing must prevent the Federal government from entering the property and reclaiming or securing PTFP-funded apparatus.

      4. Limitations of Liability.

        In no event will NTIA or the Department of Commerce be responsible for proposal preparation costs if this program is cancelled because of lack of sufficient funding or other agency priorities. Publication of this announcement does not obligate NTIA to award any specific project or to obligate any available funds.

    3. Reporting

      1. Reports Submitted to PTFP
             The following required reports must be submitted to PTFP via the Internet through the PTFP On-Line Reporting and Tracking System (PORTS).
        1. Construction Schedule or Planning Timetable.  Within 30 calendar days of the award date grantees must submit a construction schedule or a revised planning timetable.
        2. Quarterly Performance Reports. During the Grant Award Period, grantees must submit performance reports on a calendar year quarterly basis for the periods ending March 31, June 30, September 30, and December 31, or any portions thereof. The reports contain a comparison of actual accomplishments during the reporting period with the goals and dates established in the Construction Schedule for that reporting period. Construction projects must also include a list of equipment purchased during the reporting period compared with the equipment authorized.
        3. Close-out documents. Full close-out documentation must be submitted within 90 days following project completion or the expiration of the Grant Award Period, whichever comes first.
          1. Construction Grants.  Documentation for construction grants consists of a certification of completion of the project, certification that the grantee has the necessary FCC licenses or site right required for the project, certification of insurance coverage for the funded equipment, an accurate final inventory of equipment purchased, and lien forms establishing the Federal government’s priority reversionary interest in all equipment purchased.
          2. Planning Grants. Documentation for planning grants must be submitted via two paper copies and consists of a certification of completion of the project, the Final Report, and a report of project expenditures. The Final Report consists of the following:
            1. An executive summary, including results and conclusions;
            2. Complete list of actual project expenditures that conforms and compares to the approved project budget;
            3. Detailed discussion of the planning process followed;
            4. Detailed discussion of the results and conclusions, including justification and support for the conclusions reached; and
            5. The following appendices:
              1. Copies of all studies or reports developed as part of the planning process;
              2. Lists of all meetings held as part of the planning process, including an agenda and the names and titles of those who took part in each meeting; and
              3. Copies of all any engineering studies and FCC applications generated by the project.
        4. Annual Status Reports. Organizations that have received Construction Grants from the Public Telecommunications Facilities Program are required to submit an Annual Status Report for every grant project that is in the Federal interest period. By statute, this is the ten-year period during which the Federal government retains a reversionary interest in all equipment purchased under the project. The Federal interest period commences with the project completion date, as established by NTIA/PTFP. Annual Status Reports are due on or before April 1 in each of the ten years of a grant’s Federal interest period.

             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.
      2. Reports Submitted to the National Institute of Standards and Technology, Grants and Agreements Management Division
             Federal Financial Reports (Form SF-425) must be submitted in paper copy to the National Institute of Standards and Technology, Grants and Agreements Management Division (NIST/GAMD) for the six-month periods ending March 31 and September 30, or any portion thereof whether there is any financial activity or not. The reports are due no later than April 30 and October 31, respectively. Failure to provide the Federal Financial Reports in a timely manner will result in an adverse action being taken. This includes suspension of payment, suspension of award or any other action allowable under the uniform administrative requirements governing the award. A FINAL Federal Financial Report must be submitted within 90 days after the expiration of the Grant Award Period. Completed reports are submitted to NIST/GAMD, not to NTIA/PTFP.

  7. Agency Contacts

         PTFP Program Officers are prepared to give technical assistance to potential applicants before the Closing Date, within available resources. They may be contacted by telephone at (202) 482-5802, by fax at (202) 482-2156, or by mail at the address given in Section IV (PTFP mailing and delivery address for applications), above. PTFP’s email address is ptfp@ntia.doc.gov.

    The program officers, their email addresses, direct phone numbers, and their areas of responsibility are listed below:
  8. Lynn Chadwick
    lchadwick@ntia.doc.gov

    (202) 482-8338
    Projects from states in the Rocky Mt. area and the states/territories in the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.

    American Samoa, Arizona, Colorado, Guam, Hawaii, Idaho, Marianas Protectorate, Montana, New Mexico, Nevada, Puerto Rico, Utah, Virgin Islands, and Wyoming
    Larry Dyer
    ldyer@ntia.doc.gov

    (202) 482-1762
    Projects from states in the Great Plains, as well as Alaska and California.

    Alaska, California, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, and Wisconsin
    Brian Gibbons
    bgibbons@ntia.doc.gov

    (202) 482-6094
    Projects from states along the Gulf Coast and in the Southeast, as well as from Washington State.

    Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia,  Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina,  South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Washington State.
    Walter Sheppard wsheppard@ntia.doc.gov

    (202) 482-1949

    Projects from states in New England,
    the mid-Atlantic and the Midwest, as well as Oregon.

    Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, and West Virginia

    Applicants may also contact:
    William Cooperman
    wcooperman@ntia.doc.gov

    (202) 482-5802
    Director
    Charles Mellone
    cmellone@ntia.doc.gov
    (310) 456-1357
    Chief Engineer
    Equipment questions from all applicants
    NTIAHelpdesk@ntia.doc.gov
    (202) 482-4631
    Contact for electronic access problems.
    Frequently Asked Questions about PTFP grants and applications are answered online at www.ntia.doc.gov/ptfp.
    Questions regarding Department of Commerce grant policies may be directed to:
    Joyce Brigham
    Joyce.brigham@nist.gov
    (301) 975-6329
    NIST/GAMD Grants Officer


  9. Other Information

    1. NTIA Policies on Procedural Matters
           Based upon NTIA’s experience during the PTFP 2010 Grant Round, NTIA has determined that it is in the best interest of NTIA and applicants to continue recent policies regarding three procedural matters. The following policies are applicable only to the FY 2011 PTFP Grant Round and resulting awards.

      1. Applications Resulting From Catastrophic Damage or Emergency Situations

             Section 2301.10 of the PTFP Final Rules provides for submission of applications resulting from catastrophic damage or emergency situations. NTIA would like to clarify its implementation of this provision. For FY 2011 PTFP applicants, when an eligible broadcast applicant suffers catastrophic damage to the basic equipment essential to its continued operation as a result of a natural or manmade disaster, or as the result of significant equipment failure, and is in dire need of assistance in funding replacement of the damaged equipment, it may file an emergency application for PTFP funding at any time. NTIA limits this request to equipment essential to a station’s continued operation such as transmitters, towers, antennas, STLs or similar equipment which, if the equipment failed, would result in a complete loss of service to the community.
             When submitting an emergency application, the applicant should describe the circumstances that prompt the request and should provide appropriate supporting documentation. NTIA requires that applicants claiming significant failure of equipment will document the circumstances of the equipment failure and demonstrate that the equipment has been maintained in accordance with standard broadcast engineering practices.
             NTIA will grant an award only if it determines that (1) the emergency satisfies this policy, and (2) the applicant either carried adequate insurance or had acceptable self-insurance coverage.
             Applications filed and accepted for emergency applications must contain all of the information required by the Agency application materials and must be submitted in the number of copies specified by the Agency.
             NTIA will evaluate the application according to the evaluation criteria set forth in § 2301.17(b) of the PTFP Final Rules. The PTFP Director takes into account program staff evaluations (including the independent reviewers), the availability of funds, the type of project and broadcast priorities set forth at § 2301.4(b) of the PTFP Final Rules, and whether the applicant has any current NTIA grants. The Director presents recommendations to the Office of Telecommunications and Information Applications (OTIA) Associate Administrator for review and approval. Upon approval by the OTIA Associate Administrator, the Director’s recommendation will be presented to the Selecting Official, the NTIA Administrator. The NTIA Administrator makes final award selections taking into consideration the Director’s recommendation and the degree to which the application fulfills the requirements for an emergency award and satisfies the program’s stated purposes set forth in § 2301.1(a) and (c) of the PTFP Final Rules.

      2. Service of Applications

             FY 2011 PTFP applicants are not required to submit copies of their PTFP applications to the FCC, nor are they required to submit copies of the FCC transmittal cover letters as part of their PTFP applications. NTIA routinely notifies the FCC of projects submitted for funding which require FCC authorizations.
             FY 2011 PTFP applicants for distance learning projects are not required to notify every state telecommunications agency in a potential service area. Many distance learning applications propose projects which are nationwide in nature. NTIA, therefore, believes that the requirement to provide a summary copy of the application to every state telecommunications agency in a potential service area is unduly burdensome to applicants. NTIA, however, does expect that distance learning applicants will notify the state telecommunications agencies in the states in which they are located.

      3. FCC Authorizations

             For the FY 2011 PTFP Grant Round, applicants may submit applications to the FCC after the Closing Date, but do so at their own risk.  Applicants are urged to submit their FCC applications with as much time before the PTFP Closing Date as possible.  No grant will be awarded for a project requiring FCC authorization until confirmation has been received by NTIA from the FCC that the necessary authorization has been or will be issued. 
             For FY 2011 PTFP applications, since there is no potential for terrestrial interference with Ku-band satellite uplinks, applicants may submit applications to the FCC for Ku-band satellite uplinks after a PTFP award is made.  Grant recipients for Ku-band satellite uplinks will be required to document receipt of FCC authorizations to operate the uplink prior to the release of Federal funds. 
             For FY 2011 PTFP applications, NTIA may accept FCC authorizations that are in the name of an organization other than the PTFP applicant in certain circumstances.  Applicants requiring the use of FCC authorizations issued to another organization should discuss in the application Program Narrative why the FCC authorization must be in the other organization’s name.  NTIA believes that such circumstances will be rare and, in its experience, are usually limited to authorizations such as those for microwave interconnections or satellite uplinks.;
             As noted above, for FY 2011 PTFP applications, NTIA does not require that the FCC applications be filed by the Closing Date.  While NTIA is permitting submission of FCC applications after the Closing Date, applicants are reminded that they must continue to provide copies of FCC applications, as they were filed or will be filed, or equivalent engineering data, in the PTFP application so NTIA can properly evaluate the equipment request.  These include applications for permits, construction permits and licenses already received for (1) construction of a broadcast station (including a digital broadcasting facility) or translator, (2) microwave facilities, (3) ITFS authorizations, (4) SCA authorizations, and (5) requests for extensions of time.
             For those applicants whose projects require authorization by the FCC, information about FCC filing procedures can be found on the Internet at:  www.fcc.gov.

    2. Department of Commerce Procedural Matters

           This solicitation complies with the Department of Commerce Pre-Award Notification of Requirements for Grants and Cooperative Agreements contained in the Federal Register notice of February 11, 2008 (73 FR 7696), are applicable to this solicitaion.


FOOTNOTES

[1]  NTIA reminds applicants, however, that under Section 2301.12(h) of the PTFP Rules “[n]o grant will be awarded until confirmation has been received from the FCC that any necessary authorization will be issued.”

[2]  Priority 3 projects may add local origination capability to an existing repeater facility or construct a new fully staffed station.

[3]  The FCC selected the hybrid AM and FM IBOC systems that the National Radio Systems Committee tested as de facto standards for interim digital operation. See Digital Audio Broadcasting Systems and Their Impact on the Terrestrial Radio Broadcast Service, First Report and Order, MM Docket No. 99-325, 17 F.C.C. Rcd. 19990 (2002).

[4]  See Digital Audio Broadcasting Systems and Their Impact on the Terrestrial Radio Broadcast Service, Second Report and Order, First Order on Reconsideration and Second Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (DAB Second Report and Order), 22 F.C.C. Rcd. 10344, 10357 (2007) (FCC Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking).

[5]  Priority 2 is for “urgent replacement of obsolete or worn out equipment at ‘essential stations’ (i.e., existing broadcast stations that provide either the only public telecommunications signal or the only locally originated public telecommunications signal to a geographical area).” Priority 4A includes projects “to replace urgently needed equipment from public broadcasting stations that do not meet the Priority 2 criteria because they do not provide either the only public telecommunications signal or the only locally originated public telecommunications signal to a geographic area.” 15 C.F.R. 2301.4.

[6]  Systems requested for a radio station’s master control would be to power technical facilities required to keep the station master control on air, including air-conditioning limited to those technical facilities.

[7]  Beginning in FY 2000, NTIA divided the Broadcast Other category into several Subpriorities. During the remainder of the decade, NTIA periodically revised its policies regarding digital television conversion applications to reflect changing Congressional mandates and FCC requirements. During the period 1997-2010, PTFP awarded $204 million in grants to assist in the digital conversion of approximately 308 public television stations by funding over 140 tower-related projects, over 225 digital transmitters and antennas, as well as 148 studio-transmitter links and intercity microwave relays, encoders, video servers, satellite interconnect, master control equipment, cameras and related production equipment.

[8] During the recent FY 2010 grant round, PTFP awarded only one transmission project to upgrade a full-power station.

[9]  15 C.F.R. 2301.4.

 

[10]  Priority 2 is for “urgent replacement of obsolete or worn out equipment at ‘essential stations’ (i.e., existing broadcast stations that provide either the only public telecommunications signal or the only locally originated public telecommunications signal to a geographical area).” Priority 4A includes projects “to replace urgently needed equipment from public broadcasting stations that do not meet the Priority 2 criteria because they do not provide either the only public telecommunications signal or the only locally originated public telecommunications signal to a geographic area.” 15 C.F.R. 2301.4.

[11]  47 U.S.C. § 390(1).

[12] Priority 1B “includes projects such as increases in tower height and/or power of existing stations and construction of translators, cable networks, and repeater transmitters that will result in providing public telecommunications services to previously unserved areas.” 15 C.F.R. 2301.4(b)(1)(ii).

[13]  FCC Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking. The Notice proposed that stations operating on out-of-core channels 52-69 file digital displacement applications to move to an in-core channel by June 30, 2011 and cease analog broadcasts by December 31, 2011.

[14]  47 U.S.C. § 390(1).

[15]  The Broadcast Other Cases category includes projects “ related to the conversion of public broadcasting facilities to advanced digital technologies.”  15 C.F.R. 2301.4(b)(6).

[16]Section 3009 uses the definition of rural communities as defined in Section 610(b)(2) of the Rural Electrification Act of 1937 (7 U.S.C. § 950bb(b)(2)) (“any area of the United States that is not contained in an incorporated city or town with a population in excess of 20,000 inhabitants”).

[17]  74 Fed. Reg. 22402.

[18]  Upgrade program guidelines are posted on the NTIA web site at www.ntia.doc.gov/lptv/index.html.

[19]Systems requested for a television station’s master control would be to power technical facilities required to keep the station master control on air, including air-conditioning limited to those technical facilities.

[20]   See Dell Inc. and LG Electronics USA, Inc. Request for Waiver of Section 15.117 of the Commission’s Rules, MB Docket 10-111, 25 F.C.C. Rcd. 9172 (July 15, 2010).

[21]  PTFP considers money to be obligated when the applicant enters into any sort of binding commitment to spend the money. This includes the formal acceptance of a bid offering or the issuance of a purchase order.

[22]  Section 392(g) of the Communications Act states in part that “[i]f, within 10 years after completion of any project for construction of public telecommunications facilities with respect to which a grant has been made under this section—...(2) such facilities cease to be used primarily for the provision of public telecommunications services ... the United States shall be entitled to recover from the applicant or other owner of such facilities the amount bearing the same ratio to the value of such facilities...as the amount of the Federal participation bore to the cost of construction of such facilities.” 47 U.S.C. § 392(g). The ten-year interest period starts at the conclusion of the PTFP grant award period.

[23]Another Federal Standard Form, 424C “Budget Information--Construction Programs,” is used for projects to construct highways, airports, etc. and is not used by PTFP.

[24]Another Federal Standard Form, 424D “Assurances for Construction Programs,” is used for projects to construct highways, airports, etc. and is not used by PTFP.