Grants designated to fund planning activities by states and territories in preparation for the deployment of the FirstNet nationwide broadband network for first responders have been awarded to all but one state, after the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) today announced nine awards.

As part of the State and Local Implementation Grant Program (SLIGP), NTIA announced the following awards:

  • Alabama—$2 million
  • American Samoa—$502,930
  • Illinois—$4 million
  • Maine—$1 million
  • Michigan—$3.3 million
  • New Hampshire—$879,887
  • Oklahoma—$1.9 million
  • Rhode Island—$755,863
  • Wisconsin—$2.2 million

With these awards, 54 of the 55 states and territories that applied for SLIGP grants have been awarded their funds, with Louisiana being the only state that still is waiting for its award to be announced, according to NTIA sources. All states are required to provide a matching contribution of at least 20%, according to the NTIA.

Although the awards listed represent the total amount of the planning grants that states and territories will receive via SLIGP, these entities initially will receive only 50% of their award, which will be used to pay for first-phase activities, such as expanding existing governance entities to consult with FirstNet, conducting education and outreach to relevant stakeholders, and identifying potential public-safety users in their jurisdictions.

In the second phase of the planning program, states and territories can use the grant money to fund work for additional consultations with FirstNet and to gather data on items such as infrastructure and partnerships available in a jurisdiction that may be helpful to the FirstNet initiative. NTIA officials have said that the 50% of the award designated for the second-phase grants will not be distributed until FirstNet has determined what data it wants and the format in which it should be collected.