On February 6th, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) made $121.5 million in grants available 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 can be used by the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) to build a wireless public safety broadband network.
The Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012 directed FirstNet to deploy a nationwide wireless broadband network to 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) to make grants available to states in collaboration with regional, tribal, and local jurisdictions, so that FirstNet can take steps to help make this nationwide interoperable network a reality.
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, 2012 with grants to be awarded by July 15, 2013.
Go to www.ntia.doc.gov/other-publication/2013/sligp-federal-funding-opportunity or go to www.grants.gov for more details on NTIA’s Funding Opportunity Announcement 2013-NTIA-SLIGP-01.