Thursday, February 7, 2013

NTIA Gives Public Safety $121.5 Million in State and Local Implementation Grants

The NTIA announced the availability of $121.5 million in grants to assist with FirstNet planning yesterday.  The State and Local Implementation Grant Program (SLIGP) will provide funds for all 56 states and territories to support planning, consultation, education, outreach activities, and gathering of information on infrastructure and equipment to be used for the FirstNet Nationwide Public Safety Broadband Network (NPSBN).  States and territories will collaborate with regional, tribal, and local jurisdictions through planning activities. 

The amount made available is $13.5 million less than the $135 million promised at the APCO conference last year, which was based on the maximum amount authorized under Public Law 112-96 (Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012). Funds will be distributed evenly in two phases.  The first will establish a governance structure with a single point of contact for FirstNet, as well as identify potential users and conducting outreach activities.  The second phase will focus on gathering information to enable the state to effectively collaborate with FirstNet.  States receiving grants must complete certain planning requirements within the three year period of performance.  These requirements, described in the Frequently Asked Questions page for the grant program on the NTIA's website include:
  1. Establishing a governance structure to consult with FirstNet.
  2. Developing procedures to ensure local and tribal representation.
  3. Conducting education and outreach for relevant stakeholders that will be involved in the NPSBN.
  4. Identifying potential public safety users for the NPSBN.
  5. Developing a standard Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) for the grantee state to facilitate the sharing of infrastructure with FirstNet.
  6. Developing staffing plans to involve local and tribal stakeholders in future data collection in consultation with FirstNet.
  7. Preparing a comprehensive plan as part of the Statewide Communications Interoperability Plan (SCIP), or a similar, complementary plan which describes the public safety needs for FirstNet to address, as well as relevant milestones. 
Grant applications are available on and the NTIA's website.  The deadline is March 19, 2013, and the NTIA expects to award the grants by July 15, 2013. 

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