NTIA will hand out $121.5M to aid FirstNet effort

The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) will distribute $121.5 million in grants to assist states in planning for the 700 MHz Band 14 LTE nationwide public safety broadband network (NPSBN).

The grants--available to all 56 states and territories--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 the network.

NTIA is establishing the State and Local Implementation Grant Program (SLIGP) to provide resources for state, regional, local and tribal governments as required under the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012, which also created FirstNet. The SLIGP is designed as a formula-based, grant matching 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 states and territories by March 19, 2013. NTIA expects to award the grants by July 15, 2013.

For more:
- see this NTIA release

Related articles:
FirstNet shroud of secrecy raising public-safety vendors' ire
Deloitte: FirstNet and the public-private model
VoLTE outshines emergency communications radios
Khan: U.S. needs a private public safety LTE network
FirstNet may soon decide fate of suspended BTOP-funded networks
Little consensus in early FirstNet comments

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