All states apply for NTIA funds for FirstNet planning
All 50 states have completed their applications for the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) planning grants associated with the nationwide broadband network for first responders that is being overseen by FirstNet, according to an NTIA spokesperson.
Also eligible for the planning funds are six territories, according to NTIA rules. All but one of the territories — the Northern Marianas Islands — also submitted applications for the grants, according to the spokesperson.
Funds for the initial phase of planning grants are scheduled to be distributed in July. States and territories can use first-phase funding to establish governance structures within their jurisdictions, to hire personnel to interact with FirstNet, and to educate potential users about the deployment and operation of the much-anticipated nationwide broadband system.
Second-phase funding will be available after the FirstNet board determines what asset information — for example, potential sites and backhaul that could support the broadband network — it wants states and territories to provide, as well as the reporting format for the data. The second-phase funding can be used to fund efforts to collect such data and for other approved initiatives, according to NTIA officials.