Washington — The U.S. Commerce Department’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) today announced it has awarded the first $13.1 million in grants under the State and Local Implementation Grant Program (SLIGP). The awards are going to Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, New York and Ohio, and will support state planning, consultation and outreach activities of these states as they prepare for the launch of the first nationwide public safety broadband network.
The Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012 authorized the creation of the first nationwide broadband network for public safety, the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet). 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.
“The input of states, tribes, and local governments will be critical as FirstNet develops its plans for this historic network,” said Lawrence E. Strickling, Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Information and Communications and NTIA Administrator. “NTIA’s State and Local Implementation Grant Program will give states the resources they need to consult with FirstNet on deployment of a nationwide public safety broadband network.”
Of the $13.1 million in grants announced today, $2.5 million is going to Colorado, $1.4 million will go to Connecticut, $724,613 will go to Delaware, $4.86 million to New York, and Ohio will receive $3.6 million. Others will be awarded on a rolling basis.
All 56 U.S. states and territories were eligible to apply for the grants and are required to provide a matching contribution of at least 20 percent. The funding will be awarded in two phases, with the first phase focused on such activities as expanding existing governance bodies to consult with FirstNet, conducting education and outreach to relevant stakeholders, and identifying potential public safety users. Half of the funding to the grantees will be reserved for phase two, which will focus on additional consultations with FirstNet and data collection activities.
For more information about NTIA’s SLIGP, visit http://www.ntia.doc.gov/category/state-and-local-implementation-grant-program.