NTIA releases grant money to six more states for FirstNet planning
More than 80% of states and territories have received grant money to pay for FirstNet planning activities, after the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) last week released grant money to six states as part of the State and Local Implementation Grant Program (SLIGP).
On Friday, NTIA announced that the following states were awarded planning grants:
- Florida—$4.9 million;
- Indiana—$2.3 million;
- Mississippi—$1.5 million;
- New Mexico—$1.8 million; and
- West Virginia—$1.1 million.
This money represents the first phase of planning grants for these states. During the first phase of planning, states and are 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.
With these awards, 45 of the 55 states and territories that applied for SLIGP grants have been awarded their first-phase funding, according to an NTIA spokesperson. The states and territories still waiting for first-phase SLIGP grant awards are Alabama, American Samoa, Illinois, Louisiana, Maine, Michigan, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, Rhode Island and Wisconsin.
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.