The following information is for historical purposes only.
PTFP no longer accepts applications.


Instructions for Applications
Nonbroadcast Facility Activation and Extension Projects


    This section assumes that you have already looked at the Instructions for Filling Out the PTFP Application Form and now are ready to prepare the parts of your PTFP application that are specific to the type of project you are proposing.

    PTFP cannot consider Nonbroadcast Applications that propose projects to replace, improve, or upgrade equipment. See NTIA’s Policy Statement regarding Distance Leaning projects and the improvement of nonbroadcast facilities.

Program Narrative The Involvement of Women and Minorities Criterion
The Applicant Qualifications Criterion Exhibits
The Project Objectives Criterion FCC Applications and Authorizations
Urgency Assembling the Application
The Technical Qualifications Criterion Notifying Others About Your Application
The Financial Qualifications Criterion  

General Information

    Scope of Project. Each distinct project should be a separate application.

          Submit separate requests if you propose facilities that are not related, integrated, or connected in any way.

          If the facilities you are requesting are integrated into an infrastructure or a network, then one application should be submitted.


    Site Names and FCC Applications. A site is often known by more than one name; all references in an application to a given site should be clear and consistent. Reviewers must be able to identify each site in multi-site applications and relate any FCC applications to the project as described in the Narrative or to sites shown on a map. Be sure that the reviewers can easily verify that all necessary FCC applications or permits are contained in the application. We suggest that you use the same name for all references to a given site, that you add a label or note to each document, or that you cross reference the sites in the Narrative or in an Exhibit, e.g., “Old Town microwave site (McDonald Farm site)”.


    Previous Planning Grant. If your construction application was preceded by a PTFP-supported Planning Grant for the proposed facility, you must include an executive summary of the Final Report in one of the Optional Exhibits of your application.


    Deferred Applications. If you are reactivating an application that did not receive a grant award in the last grant cycle, you must submit a complete application. You should examine very critically what was submitted before to see if it can be strengthened.


Program Narrative for
Nonbroadcast Activation and Extension Projects
Six Evaluation Criteria

    ☛       You must prepare a Narrative to address the six evaluation criteria contained in Section 2301.17 of the PTFP Rules and that are discussed in this section. The criteria are:

                              1. Applicant Qualifications

                              2. Project Objectives

                              3. Urgency

                              4. Technical Qualifications

                              5. Financial Qualifications

                              6. Involvement of Women and Minorities


    Begin your Narrative with an Executive Summary of your project.

          Make it a brief, straightforward statement of what you propose to accomplish.

                Do not include any supporting arguments/justifications here; put them in the sections that follow.

    Then address the six evaluation criteria in separate sections of the Narrative.

          We recommend that you address t

    If your organization is a government entity, an Indian Tribe, or a non-profit organization that has received a prior PTFP grant, no further documentation of eligibility is required at this time.

    If your organization is a government entity, an Indian Tribe, or a non-profit organization that has received a prior PTFP grant, no further documentation of eligibility is required at this time.

hem in the order that follows and that you label each section with the name of the criterion being discussed to help the reviewers who evaluate your application.

          Several of the evaluation criteria should also be addressed in Exhibits, as explained below.


    The Narrative is limited to a total of five pages for both the Executive Summary and the first five criteria.

          You may make as much use as you wish of Optional Exhibits to provide a detailed explanation of any subject.

          Give cross-references in the appropriate sections of the Narrative to the Optional Exhibits in which you provide additional information.


    There is no page limit on your response to the sixth criterion, “Involvement of Women and Minorities.”


Evaluation Criterion 1

Applicant Qualifications

    Indicate at the beginning of the Narrative if your organization is a government entity, an Indian Tribe, or a non-profit organization that has received a prior grant from PTFP.

    If your organization is a government entity, an Indian Tribe, or a non-profit organization that has received a prior PTFP grant, no further documentation of eligibility is required at this time.

    If yours is a non-profit organization that has never received a PTFP grant, you must supply certified copies of the following in Exhibit G:

          its Articles of Incorporation as filed with the state,

          its By-Laws, and

          its IRS 501(c)(3) letter or other evidence of non-profit status.

    Your Narrative should show . . .

          your organization’s staffing levels and capabilities available to construct the proposed facility and operate and maintain it in the future;

          content resources committed to the project; and

          your organization’s prior experience in providing distance learning service.

    You should also . . .

          discuss any affiliations you have with media or educational organizations;

          include documentation of community organizations committed to your project in Exhibit E;

          describe any consultants you have identified to assist in the project; and

          discuss the background of the members of your Board of Directors, including their media or business experience if yours is a newly organized non-profit entity.

    Discuss whether your organization is experienced in distance learning. If it isn’t, what source of the appropriate expertise will it have available to assist it in the operation of the new facility?

    Describe how your organization will oversee the operation of a new facility.

          Will it have an advisory board or committee?

          If so, how will its members be chosen?

          Will there be any participation by the general public?

    Detailed discussion of Financial Qualifications goes under Evaluation Criterion 5.



Evaluation Criterion 2

Project Objectives

    Begin with a description of your project.

          What is its purpose?

          Who will benefit from its operation?

          A complete technical description of the project goes in Exhibit B

    Discuss how the project has been planned or coordinated with any telecommunications services in the service area or with local, regional, or state telecommunications agencies.

          If no coordination has taken place, explain why.

          We cannot emphasize strongly enough the importance of your providing documentation of thorough planning. Few distance learning applications have remained competitive without evidence of a comprehensive needs assessment having been performed for the proposed system.

    Show the cost for any continuing interconnection service charges (e.g., telephone line usage charges or satellite transponder charges) that might be associated with your proposed system that are not eligible for PTFP support.

          Describe how the funds to pay for those charges will be raised.

     The following are representative of the kinds of points that you should cover in your application:

          Your application may be strengthened if your proposed system reaches out beyond your academic institution and brings instructional programming to other community institutions as well (e.g., business firms, medical facilities, or local governments).

          Clarify the capabilities of your proposed system (e.g., two-way video; one- way video with no interactivity or with interactivity by telephone line; audio-only supplemented by print materials or by special teacher visits; etc).

          Consider the use of digital technologies in proposing unique or innovative distance learning projects for funding in this year’s grant round. Examples of innovative digital applications include projects which . . .

                use broadband technologies for distance learning,

                distribute educational or informational programming via Direct Broadcast Satellite technologies,

                provide multi-media content using the digital television transmission infrastructure of a television broadcast station and delivered through a method that is not a typical broadcast channel, or

                incorporate video, voice, graphics, and data capabilities for online distance learning services.

    Make clear what audiences are to be reached.

          What is the expected degree of interactivity, if any, with each audience?

          What documentation is there to demonstrate that the target audience(s) will participate? Provide numbers, if available.

          Be as specific about how the instructional programming to be transmitted to the various audiences will contribute to the learning/curriculum needs of those audiences.

    Discuss . . .

          The number of hours a day your proposed system will operate.

          How many channels will be used?

          What uses can you make of the unused time/channels, preferably by non-commercial services?

          What is the prospect of future growth or expansion of your proposed system?

    Describe what other educational/instructional services — especially with like facilities — are already operating in, or planned for, your area?

          Explain why cannot your proposed system use existing services/facilities.

    Indicate what coordination you have accomplished with other distance learning systems nearby your proposed system, especially state or regional systems.

          Describe the steps you have taken to ensure that your system will be fully interoperable with these neighboring systems.

    Describe how the construction and continued operation of the facility will be staffed.

          Discuss in detail your project’s staffing requirements.

          How many individuals, if any, will be added to your present staff to operate the proposed system?

    Explain how you intend to train users of the proposed system to cope with the distinctive demands of distance learning. (Please note, however, that training costs are not eligible for PTFP assistance.)

          This does not refer to maintaining the equipment, although that is certainly important.

          This refers to helping instructors prepare for and present their classes via educational technology.

                Competence in this area cannot be taken for granted.

                PTFP wants to know what steps you will take to ensure that this specialized competence is developed.


    We urge you to create as many Optional Exhibits as necessary to provide the fullest possible coverage — complete with whatever supporting documentation might be called for — of the subjects discussed in this section.


Evaluation Criterion 3

    You need to make a compelling case that justifies funding the proposed project during the current grant cycle.

          Distance learning projects PTFP funds generally include both an urgent need for service and a unique opportunity to provide substantial potential benefits to the target audience.

          Your Narrative, therefore, should address . . .

                the urgency of the needs of the intended audience and

                any circumstances that might make it especially desirable that PTFP fund the project during the current grant cycle.

    Explain what the prospective distance learning audiences would lose if your proposed services were not to be made available to them. For example, the audiences might be deprived of convenient opportunities to be properly prepared for college entrance examinations, or for academic success once in college, or for advancement in their professions or careers.

    Documentation of the urgency of nonbroadcast activations or extensions can take many forms and may include . . .

○the number of people to receive the distance learning service;

○the results of a needs assessment of the intended audience;

          documentation that the intended target audience is eager for service and is supportive of the application (this is sometimes documented in Exhibit E by letters, copies of petitions, resolutions from governmental bodies, etc.);

          documentation that relevant groups/educational institutions intend to actively participate in the project (place such documentation in Exhibit E also);

○fulfillment of a legislative initiative; or

          the presence of unique circumstances such as the availability of a local partner or of matching funds that may be withdrawn after the current grant cycle.


Evaluation Criterion 4
Technical Qualifications

    This part of the Narrative is for an overview of the technical aspects of your project.

    Put a full discussion of the details in Exhibit B, “Equipment Justification.”

    Please see the discussion under Exhibit B below regarding the items that should be addressed in this section.

    Your discussion in this section should be addressed to the application reviewers, who are station managers. Detailed technical discussion and documenetation should be placed in Exhibit B. which both managers and broadcast engineers will review.

    All of the equipment you wish to purchase with a grant must be listed on page PTFP-4 of the Application Form.

    In Exhibit A, page PTFP-5 of the Application Form (see below), you must provide an inventory of the equipment you presently own that is similar to that requested.

          The exhibit should give an inventory only of equipment that corresponds to the equipment requested or is closely associated with it.

          If you have no equipment to list, you should include the form and check the “NA” box.

    In exceptional circumstances you may be permitted to include as eligible costs equipment that was purchased prior to the PTFP closing date. (See §2301.6(b)(2)). We will consider inclusion of equipment purchased prior to the closing date on a case-by-case basis.

          You must show when the equipment was acquired and what compelled you to purchase the equipment prior to the PTFP Closing Date. Attach any available supporting documentation.

    Describe the engineering resources that will be available for (a) the construction of the proposed facility and (b) the long-term maintenance of the equipment for its operation and continued useful life.


    One of your greatest challenges will be obtaining the necessary local funds. You should describe your organization’s history and demonstrated ability to raise operating and capital funds.

          Many costs involved in setting up a facility, such as building construction and/or renovation and land improvements are ineligible for PTFP support.

          Staff and operating costs during the construction phase of your project are also ineligible.

    Discuss the funds you currently have available as well as identify funds committed or pledged by others to the construction or operation of the proposed facility.

    Since the Federal government retains a 10-year interest in all equipment funded by PTFP, we are interested in the long term financial viability of your project.

          Present a business plan showing how you will raise funds necessary to complete the construction of your proposed facility and pay for its continued operation.

          Explain how you expect to raise the funds to pay all of the costs mentioned.

    Provide documentation in Exhibit E of any local support that has been committed, with dollar-commitment estimates, even if the commitment is conditioned on completion of the project.

    If you expect to get financial support from state or local governments, you put documentation in Exhibit E showing that the support actually will be provided if the facility is constructed.

    Also put in Exhibit E or an Optional Exhibit any other documentation you have to show that your financial expectations are realistic.

    You must justify a request of more than a 50% Federal share of the total project cost.


    Response to this Evaluation Criterion should be included as part of the Program Narrative, but it is not subject to the five-page limitation.

    Failure to address this criterion will lower the final score given your application by reviewers.

    In accordance with 392(f) of the Act, the Agency will give special consideration to applications that foster ownership of, operation of, and participation in public telecommunications entities by minorities and women. NTIA has not established any minimum minority or women participation requirements for special consideration in PTFP evaluations in order to carry out the objectives of the statute. Rather, NTIA believes that the Congressional intent can be achieved in a fair and flexible manner by taking into account all factual circumstances that might lead to special consideration.

    The PTFP Rules, in §2301.5, provide the following clarifications about special consideration.

“Ownership and operation of” includes the holding of management and other positions in the entity, especially those concerned with programing decisions and day-to-day operation and management.

“Participation” may be shown by the entity's involvement of women and minorities in public telecommunications through its programing strategies as meeting the needs and interests of those groups

“Minorities” include American Indians or Alaska natives; Asian or Pacific Islanders; Hispanics; and Blacks, not of Hispanic Origin.

    Employment of minorities or women is not the only way in which NTIA may assess whether an application promotes significant diversity in the ownership of, operation of, and participation in, public telecommunications entities by minorities and women. NTIA is also interested in outreach efforts, audience development, and programing strategies. One stated purpose of this program is to respond to the educational, cultural and related programing needs of diverse groups.

    Applicants should provide a narrative (with supporting documentation when necessary) that documents the participation of women and minorities in the facility’s ownership and management, especially those concerned with programing decisions and day-to-day operation and management. In preparing their material, applicants should take care to clarify whether they are discussing women, minorities (minorities can be considered as a single group, but the predominant group should be identified as such), or a combination of women and minorities (where the predominant group/gender should be identified, and applicants should express whether they are discussing women or minorities in the case of an individual who is a female minority).



All materials need to be legible.


Exhibit A: Inventory

    Use the form on page PTFP-5 to tell PTFP about other related equipment for this facility that is (1) owned, (2) on order as of the date of the application, or (3) authorized by a prior PTFP award but not yet ordered.

          Related equipment refers to equipment similar to that requested in this application (i.e., provide inventory of all existing VTRs, if VTRs are requested), or is closely associated with the requested equipment (e.g., an inventory of all microwave equipment that would feed a signal to a requested site). DO NOT PROVIDE A FULL FACILITY INVENTORY.

          This facility. Provide inventory information only for the facility that is the subject of this application, not the inventory of all the facilities you operate.

    If you are applying for new distance learning facilities, you should include an inventory of any similar facilities your institution operates, such as distance learning classrooms, satellite facilities, etc.

    If you do not have applicable equipment, include the form with the “NA” box checked.

    Please number multiple pages this way: PTFP-5-1, PTFP-5-2, etc.


 Exhibit B: Justification of Equipment Requested

●Provide a technical narrative responding to the Evaluation Criteria Project Objectives, Urgency, and Technical Qualifications that supplements the information in the Program Narrative.

    Explain how the equipment requested is necessary to achieve the objectives of the project.

          Describe the technical configuration of the project.

          Discuss how the requested equipment will fit with the operation of the proposed facility, with reference to . . .

                the number of studios in relation to staff size,

                the amount of locally produced programing,

                the number of engineers, and

                equipment maintenance.

    Demonstrate that the proposed costs reflect the most efficient use of Federal funds in achieving the project objectives.

    Demonstrate that the equipment requested meets current industry performance standards (and FCC standards, if applicable).

    If donated equipment is to be included in the project, the donation must be made after the PTFP Closing Date.

          You must supply certification by a qualified, independent engineer of the fair market value and the remaining useful life of the donated item(s).

          You must also include a letter from the donor confirming the donation.

          Attach the appraisal document and the donation letter to this exhibit.


Exhibit C: Five-Year Equipment Plan

    The statute authorizing PTFP requires construction applicants to submit “a 5-year plan outlining the applicant’s projected facilities requirements and the projected costs of such facilities requirements.”

    In this exhibit, you must provide a five-year plan of anticipated equipment purchases that places your current application in the context of your station’s long-term objectives.

          Note that it is not a mission statement and not a projection of operating costs; it is a plan of your station’s expected equipment acquisitions for the next five years.

    The plan must begin with the current year and specify the type of equipment and the estimated cost.

    If no equipment acquisitions are expected in a given year, the plan should say so.

    PTFP does not specify a format for the plan.

          You should make it as long as needed to provide an adequate response to the requirement. One or two pages are usually enough.

    Note that — because it is a statutory requirement — application reviewers usually reduce the scores they give to an application if a 5-year plan is not included or the plan is too sketchy.


Exhibit D: Maps

    Include maps for ease of identification if your application is for a multi-location project.

    If maps are included . . .

          make sure that location names are clear and the same on the maps, in the Narrative, in FCC documents, etc., and

          that they are legible in all copies of your application.


Exhibit E: Letters of Support

    It is extremely important that distance learning projects provide full documentation of support from residents, community organizations, and local groups within the proposed service area of the project. This documentation usually takes the form of letters of support that are placed in Exhibit E or one of the Optional Exhibits.

    Reviewers usually notice when letters of support are all worded identically and vary only in their letterheads and signatures.

    You may forward support letters at any time, even after the Closing Date, but please understand that letters received by PTFP more than three or four days after the Closing Date probably will not be seen by the reviewers because the applications normally will be in their hands by then.


    If you obtain letters of support from members of Congress addressed to the Department of Commerce, NTIA, or PTFP, you should be sure the originals of those letters are mailed separately to the addressees. The originals should not be included in the application folders. You should place copies of the letters in this exhibit for consideration by the reviewers.


Exhibit F: Distribution Agreements

    If your application project involves the leasing of channel space or the use of designated channel space (as with a cable television system), please put in this Exhibit all documentation relevant to such channel usage. In the case of cable TV distribution, you would ideally have use of an entire channel dedicated to its service.

    If you propose to use a shared-time system, make clear in this exhibit what control you will have over the hours during which you have access to the system. This is especially important if — as is frequently the case with ITFS projects — the other user is to be a commercial entity. You should put pertinent documentation in this Exhibit.


Exhibit G: Proof of Eligibility

    If yours is a non-profit organization that has never received a PTFP grant, supply in this exhibit certified copies of the following:

          its Articles of Incorporation papers as filed with the state,

          its By-Laws, and

          an IRS 501(c)(3) letter or other evidence of non-profit status.


Exhibits H - Z

    These are Optional Exhibits that you may use to submit materials not specifically required by PTFP or to supplement parts of your application.

          Such materials should be limited to items related directly to the proposed project. A year’s worth of teacher’s guides, for example, usually adds nothing but weight and bulk to an application.

    Do NOT submit recordings of any kind — tapes, cassettes, DVDs, CDs, etc.; any received will be destroyed without being considered.

    If you include several optional exhibits, please provide a Table of Contents for them.

    Be sure to cross-reference optional exhibits from the appropriate places in the Program, Budget, or Technical Narratives.


Exhibit AA: Required Certifications


Application for Federal Assistance — Standard Form 424B

Assurances — Non-Construction Projects

    In spite of the “Non-Construction” designation, all PTFP applicants must submit these pages. They must be placed as the first item in Exhibit AA of your application.

          The copy in the folder labeled “original” must have an original signature and be dated on the second page.


Certification Regarding Lobbying — CD-511 & SF LLL

    Certification Regarding Lobbying — CD-511. All applicants must submit the CD-511.

          The copy in the folder labeled “original” must have an original signature, the signer’s title, and be dated.

    Standard Form LLL, Disclosure of Lobbying Activities needs to be submitted only if you used either Federal or non-Federal money for lobbying as discussed in Sections (1) and (2) of the CD-511. Membership in a public broadcasting organization that is considered an advocacy organization for public broadcasting is normally not regarded as lobbying.

          If Sections (1) and (2) do not apply, you do not need to include Form LLL with your application.


    Put copies of all FCC applications/authorizations (or equivalent engineering information) required by the project on the inside back panel of the PTFP-supplied folder.

    Separate multiple FCC applications/authorizations and identify with tabbed dividers.

    Provide an explanation and justification in the Program Narrative if the FCC applications are not in the name of the applicant organization.


    You may file your FCC applications with the FCC after the PTFP Closing Date at your own risk, but please remember that if your project requires a new FCC authorization, an award will be made only if the FCC notifies us that authorization is “grantable” or has been granted.


    You must submit an original and five copies of the complete application. Please assemble each copy according to the instructions here. Doing so greatly assists the reviewers who evaluate your application.

   Put one copy of the application in a six-panel folder arranged as explained below; please do NOT put the original in this folder!

          PTFP will send you a free six-panel folder on request. Call 202-482-5802, fax 202-482-2156, or email PTFP must have your request at least two weeks before the Closing Date to be sure of delivery in time for you to meet the Closing Date.

          If you want to supply your own six-panel folder, please use an ACCO #ACC-15036, Oxford ESS-920025RCP2, or equivalent.

    Put the signed original and the four remaining copies in separate manila file folders labeled with your organization’s name and secured with binder clips.

    The manila folder with the original copy should be labeled “ORIGINAL” on the outside.

          This copy must have original signatures on the third page of the Application Form, (page 1b) the Assurances (SF-424B), and the CD-511 certification of lobbying activity. Also Form

0 LLL, if required.

    Major sections of each copy of the application should be separated by divider sheets with labeled index tabs that protrude from the edge of the sheet. (Please use labels that won’t fall out!) The outline below marks each labeled index tab with an asterisk (*) and lists the material you should place behind that divider.

          The folders provided by PTFP have six panels, and each panel has a metal clip at the top. Please arrange the Application Form and other materials on the panels as follows:


Panel 1     Please leave blank for PTFP use.

Panel 2      *Application for Federal Assistance — Standard Form 424, the PTFP-2 Form, the SF 424A, and the PTFP-4 Form.

                  *Program Narrative

                  *Exhibit A       PTFP-5 Form (p. 5) — Inventory for construction applications

                  *Exhibit B        Equipment Justification for construction applications

                  *Exhibit C        5-Year Equipment Plan for construction applications

                  *Exhibit D       Coverage Maps (if required)

Panel 3      Please leave blank for PTFP use.

Panel 4      *Exhibit E        Letters of Support or Project Participation, if required

                  *Exhibit F        Distribution Agreements, if required

                  *Exhibit G       Eligibility documentation, if required

*Exhibit H - Z — Optional material (include a table of contents if there is more than one optional exhibit)

Panel 5      *Exhibit AA     Assurances and Lobbying (SF-424B, CD-511, plus Form LLL if required)

Panel 6      *FCC documents — Applications, Construction Permits, etc., as required. If you have FCC documents for more than one station, etc., please insert tabbed dividers appropriately labeled between them. If your FCC-related materials are more than 1" thick and do not fit the sixth panel comfortably, place all of the FCC-related material in a separate folder, suitably labeled, and place a sheet on Panel 6 directing reviewers to the separate folder.


    All applicants: If the states served by your project participate in the State Single Point of Contact (SPOC) process, you must send copies of Standard Form 424 and page PTFP-2 to their SPOC offices.

          Your cover letter should state that a copy of the rest of the application is available upon request. Enter the date of the cover letter in Item 19 on page 1 of the SF-424 before submitting to PTFP.

          A list of SPOC offices is available through the Office of Management and Budget home page at

          If you receive a response from your SPOC office, please send two copies of it to PTFP.

    You are advised to notify the telecommunications agency, if any, in each state served by your project.

          You will find a list of State Telecommunications Agencies on the PTFP website.



Page Last Updated: January 11, 2011