Washington - Less than eight months after launching the effort, the U.S. Commerce Department’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) today announced that 54 states and territories have been awarded $116 million in grants in fiscal year 2013 to help them plan for the national public safety broadband network to be built by the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet), an independent authority within NTIA.
The grants were awarded through NTIA’s State and Local Implementation Grant Program (SLIGP), which supports states and territories with their planning, consulting and outreach activities as they work with FirstNet on deployment of this historic national broadband network dedicated to public safety.
“With these grants, states and territories can now start planning for a state-of-the-art broadband network that will give them modern tools to respond to 21st century emergencies,” said Lawrence E. Strickling, Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Communications and Information and NTIA Administrator. “These grants empower recipients to build inclusive, strategic partnerships that will provide comprehensive planning for the national broadband public safety network.”
NTIA made the first SLIGP grant awards in July, and last week awarded grants to nine additional states and territories, bringing the total number of grants awarded to 54. The latest awards include:
- Alabama - $2 million
- American Samoa - $502,930
- Illinois - $4 million
- Maine - $1 million
- Michigan - $3.3 million
- New Hampshire - $879,887
- Oklahoma - $1.9 million
- Rhode Island - $755,863
- Wisconsin - $2.2 million
States are required to provide a matching contribution of at least 20 percent. A complete list of awards  can be found at NTIA’s website.
The Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012 authorized the creation of the first nationwide broadband network for public safety. The law also directed NTIA to develop a grant program for states to support planning, education and outreach as they consult with FirstNet on the deployment of the broadband network, which will enable first responders to better communicate during emergencies and save lives.
NTIA is the Executive Branch agency that advises the President on telecommunications and information policy issues. NTIA’s programs and policymaking focus largely on expanding broadband Internet access and adoption in America, expanding the use of spectrum by all users, and ensuring that the Internet remains an engine for continued innovation and economic growth. To find out more about NTIA, visit www.ntia.doc.gov .