NTIA Offers Funds to State and Local Governments for Public Safety Projects

Broadband Updates, Broadband's Impact, FCC, NTIA, Wireless May 21st, 2010

, BroadbandBreakfast.com

WASHINGTON, May 21, 2010 – The National Telecommunications and Information Administration announced that it would allow some state and local governments to apply for broadband stimulus funding to support public safety projects.

The potential applicants are the state and local governments that the Federal Communications Commission recently permitted to deploy public safety broadband systems using the 700-megahertz public safety broadband spectrum.

NTIA says its decision supports the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act’s goal of improving public safety communications and provides that community with the opportunity to obtain funding for an initial set of networks that will help lay the groundwork for a national public safety broadband network.

“The FCC has just cleared the way for a number of state and local governments to deploy new public safety broadband systems,” NTIA Administrator Larry Strickling said. “Given the administration’s commitment to improving the communications networks of our fire, police and rescue personnel, NTIA is offering these governments the opportunity to apply for broadband stimulus funding to help build their networks.”

Applications in the second round of NTIA’s Broadband Technology Opportunities Program, funded by the Recovery Act, were due in March 2010. On May 11, the FCC granted conditional waiver authority to various state and local governments to use 700 MHz spectrum to deploy public safety broadband systems locally or regionally.

The Commerce Department says these local governments may have been discouraged from filing BTOP applications because they did not have the legal authority to use the spectrum. NTIA now will accept applications for infrastructure projects from June 1 to July 1.

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