NTIA will establish construction-grant funding levels for each state and territory, but Dunn and MacBride reiterated that these grants likely will not be great enough to pay for buildout of the RAN in a given state. The available $5.5 billion will be allocated among the 56 states and territories, with each receiving a portion of the funding, based on the cost to construct, operate, maintain and improve the FirstNet system. However, the NTIA funding will reflect only the construction portion of the equation, Dunn said.

“The grant can only cover construction, so they need to be able to generate sufficient revenues to cover their operations, maintenance and improvements over the project period,” Dunn said during an interview with IWCE’s Urgent Communications after the session. “But the grant will only be for construction, and they must show us what they are constructing.”

MacBride noted that construction-grant guidance that would be provided with the state plans could be reduced upon further review.

“We may decide that you have so much money coming in that you don’t need [as much money as proposed],” MacBride said during an interview with IWCE’s Urgent Communications after the session. “That should be picked up by your [contractor] partner, and therefore, your grant amount is zero. We can do that, and that is an option.

“There may be multiple reasons why we would bring a grant down from the amount that comes out in the [final state plan]. We don’t know until we see their budgets and their requests, just like in any kind of a grant program.”

MacBride said NTIA officials are fairly confident that the information provided at APCO 2017 will prove to be accurate, but she added that the guidance reflects “our current world view … Things could change.”