15 CFR PART 2301
-- PUBLIC TELECOMMUNICATIONS FACILITIES PROGRAM
AUTHORITY: 47 U.S.C.
§§390-393 and 397-399b.
Subpart A - General
Pursuant to §390 of the
Act, (The Communications Act of 1934, as amended), the purpose of the
Public Telecommunications Facilities Program (PTFP) is to assist, through
matching grants, in the planning and construction of public telecommunications
facilities in order to achieve the following objectives:
- (a) extend delivery of public
telecommunications services to as many citizens in the United States
as possible by the most efficient and economical means, including the
use of broadcast and nonbroadcast technologies;
- (b) increase public telecommunications
services and facilities available to, operated by, and owned by minorities
and women; and
- (c) strengthen the capability
of existing public television and radio stations to provide public telecommunications
services to the public.
Part IV of Title III of the Communications Act of 1934, 47 U.S.C. §§390-393
and 397-399b, as amended.
means the Assistant Secretary for Communications and Information of the
United States Department of Commerce who is also Administrator of the
National Telecommunications and Information Administration.
the National Telecommunications and
Information Administration of the United States Department of Commerce.
means the distribution of electronic signals to the public at large using
television (VHF or UHF) or radio (AM or FM) technologies.
means the date and time which the Administrator sets as the deadline for
the receipt of applications during a grant cycle.
(as applied to public telecommunications facilities) means acquisition
(including acquisition by lease), installation, and improvement of public
telecommunications facilities and preparatory steps incidental to any
such acquisition, installation or improvement.
means the United States Department of Commerce.
the Federal Communications Commission.
"Federal interest period"
means the period of time during which the Federal government retains a
reversionary interest in all facilities constructed with Federal grant
funds. This period begins with the purchase of the facilities and continues
for ten (10) years after the official completion date of the project.
Although OMB Circular A-110 sections 33 and 34 (58 FR 62992, Nov. 29,1993)
and 15 CFR §§24.31 and 24.32, specify that the Federal government
maintains a reversionary interest in the facilities for as long as the
facilities are needed for the originally authorized purpose, PTFP's authorizing
statute (47 U.S.C. 392(g)) limits the reversionary period for ten years
for purposes of this program. However, Federal Constitutional limitations
on the use of the facilities survive for the useful life of the facilities
whether or not this period extends beyond the ten-year Federal interest
means American Indians, Alaska Natives, Asian or Pacific Islanders, Hispanics,
and Blacks, not of Hispanic Origin.
means the distribution of electronic signals by a means other than broadcast
technologies. Examples of nonbroadcast technologies are Instructional
Television Fixed Service (ITFS), satellite systems, and coaxial or fiber
broadcast station" or "public broadcast station"
means a television or radio broadcast station that is eligible to be licensed
by the FCC as a noncom mercial educational radio or television broadcast
station and that is owned (controlled) and operated by a state, a political
or special purpose subdivision of a state, public agency or nonprofit
private foundation, corporation, institution, or association, or owned
(controlled) and operated by a municipality and transmits only noncommercial
educational, cultural or instructional programs.
entity" means any enterprise that is owned (controlled) and operated
by a state, a political or special purpose subdivision of a state, a pub
lic agency, or a nonprofit private foundation, corporation, institution,
or association; and that has been organized primarily for the purpose
of disseminating audio or video noncommercial educational, cultural or
instructional programs to the public by means other than a primary television
or radio broadcast station, including, but not limited to, coaxial cable,
optical fiber, broadcast translators, cassettes, discs, satellite, microwave
or laser transmission.
(as applied to any foundation, corporation, institution, or association)
means a foundation, corporation, institution, or association, no part
of the net earnings of which inures, or may lawfully inure, to the benefit
of any private shareholder or individual.
means those approved costs incurred in the operation of an entity or station
such as overhead labor, material, contracted services (such as building
or equipment maintenance), including capital outlay and debt service.
(as applied to public telecommunications facilities) means activities
to form a project for which PTFP construction funds may be obtained.
means all nonconstruction costs incurred by new public telecommunications
entities before the date on which they began providing service to the
public, and all nonconstruction costs associated with the expansion of
existing stations before the date on which such expanded capacity is activated,
except that such costs shall not include any portion of the salaries of
any personnel employed by an operating public telecommuni cations entity.
the Public Telecommunications Facilities Program, which is administered
by the Agency.
means the Agency employee who recommends final action on public telecommunications
facilities applications and grants to the Administrator.
entity" means any enterprise which is a public broadcast station
or noncommercial telecommunications entity and which disseminates public
telecommunications services to the public.
facilities" means apparatus necessary for production, interconnection,
captioning, broadcast, or other distribution of programming, including
but not limited to studio equipment, cameras, microphones, audio and video
storage or processors and switchers, terminal equipment, towers, antennas,
transmitters, remote control equipment, transmission line, translators,
microwave equipment, mobile equipment, satellite communica tions equipment,
instructional television fixed service equipment, subsidiary communications
authorization transmitting and receiving equipment, cable television equipment,
optical fiber communications equipment, and other means of transmitting,
emitting, storing, and receiving images and sounds or information, except
that such term does not include the buildings to house such apparatus
(other than small equipment shelters that are part of satellite earth
sta tions, translators, microwave interconnection facilities, and similar
services" means noncommercial educational and cultural radio
and television programs, and related noncommercial instructional or informational
material that may be transmitted by means of electronic communications.
means that which has the purpose or function of advancing or propagating
a religious belief.
each of the fifty states, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of
Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, and the Northern
"System of public telecommunications
entities" means any combination of public telecommunications
entities acting cooperatively to produce, acquire or distribute programs,
or to undertake related activities.
means the normal operating life of equipment .
Subpart B - Application
(a) To apply for and receive
a PTFP Construction or Planning Grant, an applicant must be:
- (1) a public or noncommercial
educational broadcast station;
- (2) a noncommercial telecommunications
- (3) a system of public telecommunications
- (4) a nonprofit foundation,
corporation, institution, or association organized primarily for educational
or cultural purposes (see also 60 Fed. Reg. 66491(Dec. 22, 1995)); or,
- (5) a state, local, or Indian
tribal government (or agency thereof), or a political or spe cial purpose
subdivision of a state.
(b) An applicant whose proposal
requires an authorization from the FCC must be eligible to receive such
(c) If an applicant does not
meet the above eligibility requirements, the application may be rejected
and returned without further consideration.
(d) An applicant may request
a preliminary determination of eligibility any time prior to the closing
An applicant may file an application
with the Agency for a planning or construction grant. To achieve the objectives
set forth at 47 U.S.C. § 393(b), the Agency has developed the following
categories. Each application shall be identified as a broadcast or nonbroadcast
project and must fall within at least one of the following categories:
(a) Special Applications
NTIA possesses the discretionary
authority to recommend awarding grants to eligible nonbroadcast applicants
whose proposals are unique or innovative and which address demon
strated and substantial community needs (e.g., service to the blind or
deaf and nonbroadcast projects offering educational or instructional services).
(b) Broadcast Applications.
The Broadcast Priorities are set forth in order of priority for
- (1) Priority 1 -- Provision
of Public Telecommunications Facilities for First Radio and Television
Signals to a Geographic Area. Within this category, NTIA establishes
(2) Priority 2 -- Replacement
of Basic Equipment of Existing Essential Broadcast Stations.
- (i) Priority 1A.
Projects that include local origination capacity. This subcategory
includes the planning or construction of new facilities that can
provide a full range of radio and/or television programs, including
material that is locally produced. Eligible projects include new
radio or television broadcast stations, new cable systems, or first
public telecommunications service to existing cable systems, provided
that such projects include local origination capacity.
- (ii) Priority 1B.
Projects that do not include local origination capacity. This
subcategory 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.
- (iii) 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.
- (iv) Priority 1 and
its subcategories apply only to grant applicants proposing to plan
or construct new facilities to bring public telecommunications services
to geographic areas that are presently unserved, i.e., areas that
do not receive public telecommunications services. (It should be
noted that television and radio are considered separately for the
purposes of determining coverage. In reviewing applications from
FM stations that propose to serve, or that already serve, areas
covered by AM-daytime only stations, PTFP will evaluate the amount
of service provided via the AM-daytime only station in determining
whether the FM proposal qualifies for a Priority 1 or Priority 2,
- (v) An applicant proposing
to plan or construct a facility to serve a geographical area that
is presently unserved should indicate the number of persons who
would receive a first public telecommunications signal as a result
of the proposed project.
(3) Priority 3 -- Establishment
of a First Local Origination Capacity in a Geographical Area.
- (i) Projects eligible
for consideration under this category include the 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).
- (ii) To show that the
urgent replacement of equipment is necessary, applicants must provide
documentation indicating excessive downtime, or a high incidence
of repair (i.e., cop ies of repair records, or letters documenting
non-availability of parts). Additionally, applicants must show that
the station is the only public telecommunications station providing
a signal to a geographical area or the only station with local origination
capacity in a geographical area.
- (iii) The distinction
between Priority 2 and Priority 4 is that Priority 2 is for the
urgent replacement of basic equipment for essential stations. Where
an applicant seeks to "improve" basic equipment in its
station (i.e., where the equipment is not "worn out"),
or where the applicant is not an essential station, NTIA would consider
the applicant's project under Priority 4.
(4) Priority 4 -- Improvement
of Public Broadcasting Services.
- (i) 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,
- (ii) Applicants seeking
funds to bring the first local origination capacity to an area already
receiving some public telecommunications services may do so, either
by establishing a new (and additional) public telecommunications
facility, or by adding local origination capacity to an existing
facility. A source of a public telecommunications signal is distant
when the geographical area to which the source is brought is beyond
the grade B contour of the origination facility.
(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.
- (i) Projects eligible
for consideration under this category are intended to improve the
delivery of public broadcasting services to a geographic area. These
projects include the establishment of a public broadcast facility
to serve a geographic area already receiving public telecommunications
services, projects for the replacement of basic obsolete or worn-out
equipment at existing public broadcasting facilities and the upgrading
of existing origination or delivery capacity to current industry
performance standards (e.g., improvements to signal quality, and
significant improvements in equipment flexibility or reliability).
As under Priority 2, applicants seeking to replace or improve basic
equipment under Priority 4 should show that the replacement of the
equipment is necessary by including in their applications data indi
cating excessive downtime, or a high incidence of repair (such as
documented in repair re cords). Within this category, NTIA establishes
two subcategories: Priority 4A and 4B.
- (ii) Priority 4A.
(iii) Priority 4B.
The improvement and non-urgent replacement of equipment at any
public broadcasting station.
- (A) Applications
to replace urgently needed equipment from public broadcasting
sta tions 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. NTIA will also consider applications that
improve as well as replace urgent ly needed production-related
equipment at public radio and television stations that do not
qualify for Priority 2 consideration but that produce, on a
continuing basis, significant amounts of programming distributed
nationally to public radio or television stations.
- (B) The establishment
of public broadcasting facilities to serve a geographic area
already receiving public telecommunications services. The applicant
must demonstrate that it will address underserved needs in an
area which significantly differentiates its service from what
is already available in its service area.
- (C) The acquisition
of satellite downlinks for public radio stations in areas already
served by one or more full-service public radio stations. The
applicant must demonstrate that it will broadcast a program
schedule that does not merely duplicate what is already available
in its service area.
- (D) 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. This is intended to assist
stations that went on the air with a complement of equipment
well short of what the Agency considers as the basic complement.
Other cases. 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.
- (i) Priority 5A.
Projects to equip auxiliary studios at remote locations, or to provide
mobile origination facilities. An applicant must demonstrate
that significant expansion in public participation in programming
will result. This subcategory includes mobile units, neighborhood
production studios, or facilities in other locations within a station's
service area that would make participation in local programming
accessible to additional segments of the population.
- (ii) Priority 5B.
Projects to augment production capacity beyond basic level in order
to provide programming or related materials for other than local
distribution. This subcategory would provide equipment for the
production of programming for regional or national use. Need beyond
existing capacity must be justified.
(c) An applicant may request
a preliminary determination of whether a proposed project fits within
at least one of the above listed categories any time prior to the closing
(d) All applications will be
reviewed after the closing date. If an application does not fall within
one of the listed categories, it may be rejected and returned without
In accordance with §392(f)
of the Act, the Agency will give special consideration to applications
that foster ownership of, operation of, and participation in public telecommunications
entities by minorities and women. Ownership and operation of includes
the holding of management and other positions in the entity, especially
those concerned with programming decisions and day-to-day operation and
management. Participation may be shown by the entity's involvement of
women and minorities in public telecommunications through its programming
strategies as meeting the needs and interests of those groups. Minorities
include American Indians or Alaska natives; Asian or Pacific Islanders,
Hispanics, and Blacks, not of Hispanic Origin. The special consideration
element is provided as one of several evaluation criteria contained in
the regulations at 15 CFR §2301.17
(a) Planning grants. The Agency
may provide up to one hundred (100) percent of the funds necessary for
the planning of a public telecommunications construction project.
- (1) Seventy-five (75) percent
Federal funding will be the general presumption for projects to plan
for a public telecommunications construction project.
- (2) A showing of extraordinary
need (e.g., small community group proposing to initiate new public telecommunication
service) will be taken into consideration as justification for grants
of up to 100% of the total project cost.
(b) Construction grants. (1)
A Federal grant for the construction of a public telecommunications facility
may not exceed seventy-five (75) percent of the amount determined by the
Agency to be the reasonable and necessary cost of such project.
- (i) Seventy-five (75) per
cent Federal funding will be the general presumption for projects to
activate stations or to extend service.
- (ii) Fifty (50) per cent
Federal funding will be the general presumption for the replacement,
improvement or augmentation of equipment. A showing of extraordinary
need (i.e. small community-licensee stations or a station that is licensed
to a large institution [e.g., a college or university] documenting
that it does not receive direct or in-kind support from the larger institution),
or an emergency situation will be taken into consideration as justification
for grants of up to 75% of the total project cost for such proposals.
- (2) Since the purpose of
the PTFP is to provide financial assistance for the acquisition of public
telecommunications facilities, total project costs do not normally include
the value of eligible apparatus owned or acquired by the applicant prior
to the closing date. Inclusion of equipment purchased prior to the closing
date will be considered on a case-by-case basis only when clear and
compelling justifications are provided to PTFP. 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.
(c) No part of the grantee's
matching share of the eligible project costs may be met with funds:
- (1) 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, or
- (2) supplied to an applicant
by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting,
except upon a clear and compelling showing of need.
(d) No funds from the Federal
share of the total project cost may be obligated until the award period
start date. 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.
(a) Each year the Agency reviews
its list of eligible and ineligible equipment, supplies, and costs. The
list is published in the Federal Register as part of the solicitation
for applications and a copy is provided with every application package
for PTFP grants.
(b) All broadcast equipment
that a grantee acquires under this program shall be of professional broadcast
quality. An applicant proposing to utilize nonbroadcast technology shall
propose and purchase equipment that is compatible with broadcast equipment
wherever the two types of apparatus interface.
(c) Total project costs do
not include the value of eligible apparatus owned or acquired by the applicant
prior to the closing date unless approved by PTFP on a case-by-case basis
in writing pursuant to 2301.6(b)(2)
(a) Applications can be obtained
from the following address: Public Telecommunications Facilities Program,
NTIA/DOC, 14th Street and Constitution Avenue, N.W., Room H-4625, Washington,
(b) The Administrator shall
select and publish in the Federal
Register a closing date by which applications for funding in a current
fiscal year are to be filed.
(c) All applications, whether
mailed or hand delivered, must be received by the Agency at the address
listed in the annual Federal Register announcement requesting applications
at or before 5:00 P.M. on the closing date. Applications received after
the closing date shall be rejected and returned without further consideration
(but see §2301.26 ).
(d) A complete application
must include all of the information required by the Agency application
materials and must be submitted in the number of copies specified by the
(e) Each copy of the Agency
application must contain an original signature of an officer of the applicant
who is legally authorized to sign for the applicant.
(f) Applicants must certify
whether they are delinquent on any Federal debt.
(g) Applicants may be required
to submit Name Check forms (Form CD-346) which may be used to ascertain
background information on key individuals associated with potential grantees
as part of the application, per Department Pre-Award Administrative Requirements
(h) Applicant organizations
may also be subject to a responsibility determination by the Department
which may include but not be limited to reviews of financial and other
business activities. Responsibility determinations are intended to ascertain
whether potential grantee organizations or their key personnel have been
involved in or are facing any matters that might significantly and negatively
impact on their business honesty, financial integrity and/or ability to
successfully perform the proposed grant activities.
(i) Unsatisfactory performance
by the applicant under prior Federal awards may result in the application
not being funded.
(a) An applicant may reactivate
an application deferred by the Agency in a prior year during the two consecutive
years following the application's initial filing with the Agency; provided
the applicant has not substantially changed the stated purpose of the
(b) To reactivate a deferred
application, the applicant must file an updated application, whether mailed
or hand delivered, at or before 5:00 P.M. on the closing date.
(c) An updated application
must include all of the information required by the Agency application
materials and must be submitted in the number of copies specified by the
(d) Deferred applications that
are resubmitted under this section and contain substantial changes will
be considered as new applications.
(e) All deferred applications
may be subject to a determination of eligibility during subsequent grant
(a) An application may be filed
with a request for a waiver of the closing date, as provided in §2301.26,
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 complete equipment failure,
and is in dire need of assistance in funding replacement of the damaged
equipment. This section is limited to equipment essential to a station's
continued operation such as transmitters, tower, antennas, STL's or similar
equipment which, if the equipment failed, would result in a complete loss
of service to the community.
(b) The request for a waiver
must set forth the circumstances that prompt the request and be accompanied
by appropriate supporting documentation.
(c) A waiver will be granted
only if it is determined that the applicant either carried adequate insurance
or had acceptable self-insurance coverage.
(d) Applicants claiming complete
failure of equipment must document the circumstances of the equipment
failure and demonstrate that the equipment has been maintained in accordance
with standard broadcast engineering practices.
(e) Applications filed and
accepted pursuant to this section 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.
(f) The application will be
subject to the same evaluation and selection process followed for applications
received in the normal application cycle, although the Administrator may
establish a special timetable for evaluation and selection to permit an
appropriately timely decision.
On or before the closing date,
all new or deferred applicants must serve a summary copy of the application
on the following agencies:
(a) In the case of an application
for a construction grant for which FCC authorization is necessary, the
Secretary, Federal Communications Commission,
1919 M Street, N.W., Washington, DC 20554;
(b) The state telecommunications
agency(-ies), if any, having jurisdiction over the development of broadcast
and/or nonbroadcast telecommunications in the state(s) and the community(-ies)
to be served by the proposed project; and
(c) The state office established
to review applications under Executive
Order 12372, 47 FR 30959, 3 CFR, 1982 Comp., p. 197, as amended by
Executive Order 12416, 48 FR 15587, 3 CFR, 1983 Comp., p. 186, in all
states where equipment requested in the application will be located and
where the state has established such an office and wishes to review these
(a) Each applicant whose project
requires FCC authorization must file
an application for that authorization on or before the closing date. NTIA
recommends that its applicants submit PTFP-related FCC applications to
the FCC at least 60 days prior to the PTFP closing date. The applicant
should clearly identify itself to the FCC as a PTFP applicant.
(b) In the case of FCC authorizations
where it is not possible or practical to submit the FCC license application
with the PTFP application, such as C-band satellite uplinks, low- power
television stations and translators, remote pickups, studio-to-transmitter
links, and Very Small Aperture Terminals, a copy of the FCC application
as it will be submitted to the FCC, or the equivalent engineering data,
must be included in the PTFP application.
(c) Applications requesting
C-band downlinks are not required to submit the FCC application or equivalent
engineering data as part of the PTFP application. When such a project
is funded, however, grantees will be required to submit evidence of FCC
registration of the C-band downlink prior to the release of Federal funds.
(d) Any FCC authorization required
for the project must be in the name of the applicant for the PTFP grant.
(e) If the project is to be
associated with an existing station, the FCC operating authority for that
station must be current and valid.
(f) For any project requiring
new authorization(s) from the FCC, the applicant must file a copy of each
FCC application and any amendments with the Agency.
(g) If the applicant fails
to file the required FCC application(s) by the closing date, or if the
FCC returns, dismisses, or denies an application required for the project
or any part thereof, or for the operation of the station with which the
project is associated, the Agency may reject and return the application.
(h) No grant will be awarded
until confirmation has been received from the FCC that any necessary authorization
will be issued.
(a) After the closing date,
the Agency will publish a list of all applications received.
(b) The applicant shall make
a copy of its application available at its offices for public inspection
during normal business hours.
(c) A copy of the application
will be available in the PTFP offices for public inspection during normal
(d) Any interested party may
file comments with the Agency supporting or opposing an application and
setting forth the grounds for support or opposition. Any opposing comments
must contain a certification that a copy of the comments has been delivered
to the applicant. Comments must be sent to the address listed in §2301.8(a).
(e) The Agency shall incorporate
all comments from the public and any replies from the applicant in the
applicant's official file for consideration during the evaluation of the
(a) The Agency may request
from the applicant any additional information that the Agency deems necessary
to clarify the application. Applicants must provide to the Agency additional
information that the Agency requests within fifteen (15) days of the date
of the Agency's notice. Applicants must submit a copy of the requested
information for each copy of the application submitted by the Closing
(b) Applicants must immediately
provide to the Agency information received after the closing date that
materially affects the application, including:
- (1) State
Single Point of Contact and State
Telecommunications Agency comments on applications;
- (2) FCC file numbers and
changes in the status of FCC applications necessary for the proposed
- (3) Changes in the status
of proposed local matching funds, including notification of the passage
(including reduction or rejection) of a proposed state appropriation
or receipt (or denial) of a proposed substantial matching gift;
- (4) Changes that affect
the applicant's eligibility under §2301.3;
- (5) Changes in the status
of proposed production, participation, or distribution agreements (if
relevant to the proposed project);
- (6) Changes in lease or
site rights agreements; and
- (7) Complete failure of
major items of equipment for which replacement costs have been requested
or changes in the status of the need for the equipment requested.
(c) Applicants must place copies
of any additional information submitted to the Agency in the copy of the
application made available for public inspection pursuant to §2301.13.
(d) Neither the Department
nor the Agency will discuss the merits of an application when it is under
(a) Applicants may request
withdrawal of an application from consideration for funding without affecting
future consideration. Withdrawn applications will be returned by the Agency.
(b) A request that the Agency
defer an application for consideration in a subsequent year will be treated
as a request for withdrawal.
Subpart C: Evaluation and
(a) In determining whether
to approve or defer a construction or planning grant application, in whole
or in part, and the amount of such grant, the Agency will evaluate all
the information in the application file.
(b) PTFP grants are awarded
on the basis of a competitive review process. The evaluation of the applications
is based upon the evaluation criteria provided under §2301.17.
(c) The competitive review
process may include the following: evaluation by PTFP staff; technical
assessment by engineers; an evaluation by outside reviewers, all of whom
have demonstrated expertise in either public broadcasting or distance
learning; and rating by a national advisory panel, composed of representatives
of major national public radio and television organizations.
(d) In acting on applications
and carrying out other responsibilities under the Act, the Agency shall
consult (as appropriate) with the FCC, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting,
state telecommunications agencies, public broadcasting agencies, organizations,
and other agencies administering programs that may be coordinated effectively
with Federal assistance provided under the Act; and, the state office
established to review applications under Executive
Order 12372, as amended by Executive Order 12416,
(e) Based upon the evaluation
criteria contained in §2301.17,
the PTFP program staff will prepare summary evaluations. These will incorporate
the outside reviewers' recommendations, engineering assessments, and program
(a) For each application that
is filed in a timely manner by an applicant, is materially complete, and
proposes an eligible project, the Agency will consider the evaluation
criteria listed in 2301.17(b):
- (1) The criteria in paragraphs
b(1), Applicant Qualifications, and criterion (2), Financial
Qualifications, of this section are qualifying criteria. Applications
meeting the minimum qualifications on these criteria will be considered
for further review.
- (2) The remaining four criteria
listed in 2301.17(b) will be weighted in the evaluation as follows:
- (i) The criteria in
paragraphs b(3), Project Objectives, and criterion (4), Urgency,
of this section will be given the most weight in the evaluation.
- (ii) The remaining criteria
in paragraphs b(5) Technical/Planning Qualifications, and
b(6) Special Consideration, of this section will be given
less weight and are listed in descending order.
(b) 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 reflecting 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 §2301.4,
documents the applicant's ability to implement the proposed project
and adequately justify the need for Federal funds in excess of fifty
(50) percent of total project costs (see §2301.6(b)(2)),
if requested for equipment replacement, improvement, or augmentation
projects; and, in the case of planning, adequately justifies the need
for Federal funds in excess of seventy five (75) percent of total project
costs (see §2301.6(a)(2)),
- (4) Urgency: Documentation
that justifies funding the proposed project during the current grant
cycle or, when appropriate, that the condition of existing equipment
justifies its prompt replacement.
- (5)(i) 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).
- (ii) Planning Qualifications
(planning applicants only): Documentation of the feasibility of
the proposed planning process and timetable for achieving the expected
results; that costs proposed reflect the most efficient use of Federal
funds; that the applicant has sufficient qualified staff or consultants
to complete the planning project with professional results; and that
an evaluation of alternative technologies will be incorporated into
the plan, if appropriate.
- (6) Special Consideration:
For this evaluation criterion, applicants should demonstrate that
its broadcast or non-broadcast application 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.
(c) The Agency will provide
each applicant with guidance in the application materials on the type
of documentation necessary to meet each of the above evaluation criteria.
(a) The PTFP Director will
consider the summary evaluations prepared by program staff, rank the applications,
and present recommendations to the OTIA Associate Administrator for review
and approval. The Director's recommendations and the OTIA Associate Administrator's
review and approval will take into account the following selection factors:
- (1) The program staff evaluations,
including the outside reviewers.
- (2) The type of projects
and broadcast priorities set forth at §2301.4.
- (3) Whether the application
is for broadcast or a nonbroadcast project.
- (4) Whether the applicant
has any current NTIA grants.
- (5) The geographic distribution
of the proposed grant awards.
- (6) The availability of
(b) Upon approval by the OTIA
Associate Administrator, the Director's recommendations will then be presented
to the Selecting Official, the NTIA Administrator.
(c) 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 set forth at §2301.1(a)
(d) No grant will be awarded
until confirmation has been received from the FCC that any necessary authorization
will be issued.
(e) After final award selections
have been made, the Agency will notify the applicant of one of the following
- (1) Selection of the application
for funding, in whole or in part;
- (2) Deferral of the application
for subsequent consideration;
- (3) Rejection of the application
with an explanation and the reason, if an applicant is not eligible
or if the proposed project does not fall within at least one of the
categories enumerated at §2301.4
- (4) Return of applications
that were deferred by the Agency after consideration during three grant
(f) The Agency will notify
the following organizations of those applications selected for funding:
- (1) The state educational
telecommunications agency(-ies), if any, in any state any part of which
lies within the service area of the applicant's facility;
- (2) The FCC; and,
- (3) The Corporation
for Public Broadcasting and, as appropriate, other public telecommunications
Subpart D Post -Award Requirements
(a) During the project award
period and the remainder of the Federal interest period, the grantee must:
- (1) Continue to be an eligible
organization as described in §2301.3;
- (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 expenditure
items specified in the application for inclusion in the project, except
that the grant ee may substitute other items where necessary or desirable
to carry out the purpose of the project if approved in advance by the
Department in writing. These changes include but are not limited to
- (i) Costs (including
- (ii) Essential specifications
of the equipment,
- (iii) The engineering
configuration of the project,
- (iv) Extensions of the
approved grant award period, and
- (v) Transfers of a grant
award to a successor in interest, pursuant to §2301.19(c).
- (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
the 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; and
- (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
(10) years after the completion of the project.
(b) During the period in which
the grantee possesses or uses the Federally funded facilities, the grantee
may not use or 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. Please see NTIA's published policy
on sectarian activities at 60 Federal Register 66491 (December
(c) If necessary to further
the purpose of the Act, the Agency may reassign a grant to a successor
in interest or subsidiary corporation of a grantee in cases where a similar
operational entity remains in control of the grant and the original objectives
of the grant remain in effect. Each party must provide, in writing, its
assent to the substitution. Any substituted party must meet the eligibility
(a) Within thirty (30) calendar
days of the award date the grantee shall submit to the Agency, in duplicate,
a construction schedule or a revised planning timetable that will include
the information requested in the grant terms and conditions in the award
(b) During the project period
of this grant, the grantee shall submit performance reports, in duplicate,
on a calendar year quarterly basis for the period ending March 31, June
30, September 30, and December 31, or any portions thereof. The Quarterly
Performance Reports should contain the following information:
- (1) A comparison of actual
accomplishments during the reporting period with the goals and dates
established in the Construction or Planning Schedule for that reporting
- (2) A description of any
problems that have arisen or reasons why established goals have not
- (3) Actions taken to remedy
any failures to meet goals; and
- (4) Construction projects
must also include a list of equipment purchased during the reporting
period compared with the equipment authorized. This information must
include manufacturer, make and model number, brief description, number
and date of the items pur chased, and cost.
(a) The Department will not
make any payment under an award, unless and until the recipient complies
with all relevant requirements imposed by this Part. 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 Agency before any funds for the project will
(b) As a general matter, the
Agency 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.
(a) To assure that the Federal
investment in public telecommunications facilities funded under the Act
will continue to be used to provide public telecommunications services
to the public during the Federal interest period, the Agency may require
a grantee to:
- (1) 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 continu ing Federal interest. The document shall be recorded where
liens are normally recorded in the community where the facility is located
and in the community where the grantee's headquar ters are located;
- (2) File a certified copy
of the recorded lien with the Administrator ninety (90) days after the
grant award is received.
(b) The grantee shall 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 any area that has been identified by the Federal
Emergency Management Agency as having special flood hazards.
(c) The grantee shall not dispose
of or encumber its title or other interests in the equipment acquired
under this grant during the Federal interest period.
(d) The grantee shall demonstrate
that the grantee has obtained appropriate title or lease satisfactory
to protect the Federal interest to the site or sites on which apparatus
proposed 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 assure the sufficient continuity of operation
of the facility; and nothing must prevent the Federal government from
entering the property and reclaiming or securing PTFP-funded property.
(e) The Agency will allow the
acquisition of facilities by lease; however, the following requirements
- (1) The lease must be of
benefit to the Federal government;
- (2) The actual amount of
the lease must not be more than the outright purchase price would be;
- (3) The lease agreement
must state that in the event of anticipated or actual termination of
the lease, the Federal government has the right to transfer and assign
the leasehold to a new grantee for the duration of the lease contract.
(f) Transfer of equipment.
Where the grant equipment is no longer needed for the original purposes
of the project, the Department may transfer the equipment to the Federal
government or an eligible third party, in accordance with Office of Management
and Budget guidelines.
(g) Transfer of Federal interest
to different equipment. The Department may transfer the Federal interest
in PTFP-funded equipment to other eligible equipment presently owned or
to be purchased by the grantee with non-Federal monies, provided the following
conditions are met:
- (1) If the Federal interest
is to be transferred to other equipment presently owned or to be purchased
by a grantee, the Federal interest in the new equipment must be at least
equal to the Federal interest in the original equipment.
- (2) Equipment previously
funded by PTFP that is within the Federal interest period may not be
used in a transfer request as the designated equipment to which the
Federal interest is to be transferred.
- (3) The same item can be
used only once to substitute for the Federal interest. However, the
Federal interest in several items of equipment from different grants
may be transferred to a single item if the request for all such transfers
is submitted at the same time.
- (4) A lien on equipment
transferred to the Federal interest may be required by PTFP and must
be recorded in accordance with §2301.23(b)(8)
. A copy of the lien document must be filed with the PTFP within
sixty (60) days of the date of approval of the transfer of Federal interest.
(h) Termination by buy-out.
A grantee may terminate the Federal revisionary interest in a PTFP grant
by buying out the Federal interest with non-Federal monies. Buy-outs may
be requested at any time.
Subpart E-- Completion of
(a) Upon completion of a planning
project, the grantee must promptly provide to the Agency two copies of
any report or study conducted in whole or in part with funds provided
under this program.
- (1) This report shall meet
the goals and objectives for which the grant is awarded and shall follow
the written instructions and guidance provided by the Agency. The grant
award goals and objectives are stated in the planning narrative as amended
and are incorporated by reference into the award agreement.
- (2) The Agency shall review
this report for the extent to which those goals and objectives are addressed
and met, for evidence that the work contracted for under the grant award
was in fact performed, and to determine whether the written instructions
and guidance provided by the Agency, if any, were followed.
- (3) If the Agency determines
that the report fails to address or meet any grant award goals or objectives,
or if there is no evidence that the work contracted for was in fact
performed, or if this report clearly indicates that the written instructions
and guidance provided by the Agency, if any, were disregarded, then
the Agency may pursue remedial action.
- (4) An unacceptable final
report may result in the disallowance of claimed costs and the establishment
of an account receivable by the Department.
(b) Upon completion of a construction
project, the grantee must:
- (1) Certify that the grantee
has acquired, installed, and begun operating the project equipment in
accordance with the project as approved by the Agency, and has complied
with all terms and conditions of the grant as specified in the Grant
- (2) Certify that the grantee
has obtained any necessary FCC authorizations to operate the project
apparatus following the acquisition and installation of the apparatus
and document the same;
- (3) Certify and document
that the facilities have been acquired, that they are in operating order,
and that the grantee is using the facilities to provide public telecommunications
services in accordance with the project as approved by the Agency;
- (4) Certify that the grantee
has obtained adequate insurance to protect the Federal interest in the
project in the event of loss through casualty;
- (5) Certify, if not previously
provided, that the grantee has acquired all necessary leases or other
site rights required for the project;
- (6) Certify, if appropriate,
that the grantee has qualified for receipt of funds from the Corporation
for Public Broadcasting;
- (7) Provide a complete and
accurate final inventory of equipment acquired under the project and
a final accounting of all project expenditures, including non-equipment
costs (e.g., installation costs); and
- (8) Execute and record a
final priority lien, if required by PTFP, reflecting the completed project
and assuring the Federal government's reversionary interest in all equipment
purchased under the grant project for the duration of the Federal interest
(c) When an applicant completes
a construction project, the Agency will assign a completion date that
the Agency will use to calculate the termination date of the Federal interest
period. The completion date will usually be the date on which the project
period expires unless the grantee certifies in writing prior to the project
period expiration date that the project is complete and in accord with
the terms and conditions of the grant, as required under §2301.23(b)(1).
If the PTFP Director determines that the grantee improperly certified
the project to be complete, the PTFP Director will amend the completion
If the total allowable, allocable,
and reasonable costs incurred in completing the planning or construction
project are less than the total project award amount, the Agency shall
reduce the amount of the final Federal share on a pro rata basis. If,
however, the actual costs incurred in completing the project are more
than the estimated total project costs, in no case will the final Federal
funds paid exceed the grant award.
(a) All grantees shall keep
intact and accessible all records specified in Office of Management and
Budget Circular A-110 (for educational institutions, hospitals, and nonprofit
organizations), or 15 CFR Part 24 (for State and Local Governments).
(b) Recipients of construction
- (1) Are required to submit
an Annual Status Report for each grant project that is in the Federal
interest period. The Reports are due no later than April 1 in each year
of the Federal interest period. Information about what is to be included
in the Annual Status Report is supplied to grant recipients at the time
grants are closed out.
- (2) Shall retain an inventory
of the equipment for the duration of the ten-year Federal interest period
and shall mark project apparatus in a permanent manner to assure easy
and accurate identification and reference to inventory records. The
marking shall include the PTFP grant number and an inventory number
assigned by the grantee.
- (3) May also be required
to take whatever steps may be necessary to ensure that the Federal government's
reversionary interest continues to be protected for the 10-year period
by recording, when and where required, a lien continuation statement
and reporting that fact in the Annual Status Report.
Subpart F: Waivers
It is the general intent of
NTIA not to waive any of its regulations. However, under extraordinary
circumstances and when it is in the best interests of the Federal government,
NTIA, upon its own initiative or when requested, may waive the regulations
adopted pursuant to Section 392(e) of the Act. Waivers may only be granted
for regulatory requirements that are discretionary.