Washington — The U.S. Commerce Department’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) today announced the availability of $121.5 million in grants to assist states as they prepare for a nationwide public safety broadband network. The grants will be available to all 56 states and territories, and will support planning, consultation, education and outreach activities as well as help fund efforts to collect information on infrastructure and equipment that could be used by the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) in building a wireless public safety broadband network.
The Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012 created FirstNet and directed it to deploy a nationwide wireless broadband network that will enable first responders to better communicate with each other during emergencies and save lives. The Act directed NTIA to establish the State and Local Implementation Grant Program (SLIGP), making grants available to states, in collaboration with regional, tribal, and local jurisdictions, as FirstNet takes steps to help make this nationwide, interoperable network a reality.
“The State and Local Implementation Grant Program will be an integral part of statewide planning and preparation in anticipation of this nationwide public safety broadband network,” said Lawrence E. Strickling, Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Communications and Information and NTIA Administrator. “State, regional, local, and tribal governments play a critical role as FirstNet develops its plans for this network, and NTIA’s grant program will provide the necessary resources to help them consult with FirstNet as mandated by the Act.”
The SLIGP is designed as a formula-based, matching grant program. The Federal share of the grant program represents 80 percent of the total project costs, while recipients will contribute at least 20 percent.
Applications are due to NTIA from the states and territories by March 19, 2013. NTIA anticipates awarding the grants by July 15, 2013.
The SLIGP Federal Funding Opportunity is available on Grants.gov and NTIA’s website: http://www.ntia.doc.gov/other-publication/2013/sligp-federal-funding-opportunity.
To see frequently asked questions regarding the SLIGP, visit: http://www.ntia.doc.gov/other-publication/2013/sligp-frequently-asked-questions.