NTIA awards planning grants to four states for FirstNet initiative
Four states—Arizona, California, Iowa and Missouri—were awarded a total of $12.5 million in the first phase of planning grants that can be used to support consultation and outreach activities in preparation for a nationwide broadband network for first responders, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) announced this week.
Known as the State and Local Implementation Grant Program (SLIGP), the initial phase of the initiative is designed to provide states with the resources necessary to prepare for its consultation with FirstNet regarding its role in the deployment of a nationwide broadband network for first responders. According to a press release from NTIA, the following states were awarded grants last week:
- Arizona—$2.9 million
- California—$5.6 million
- Iowa—$1.6 million
- Missouri—$2.4 million
This money represents the first phase of planning grants for these states. During the first phase of planning, states and territories are supposed to use the SLIGP funds to expand existing governance entities to consult with FirstNet, conduct education and outreach to relevant stakeholders, and identify potential public-safety users in their jurisdictions.
In the second phase of the planning program, states and territories can use the second-phase grants 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 second-phase grants will not be distributed until FirstNet has determined what data it wants and the format in which it should be collected.