NTIA releases information about SLIGP 2.0 grants to states, territories for FirstNet purposes
States and territories can apply for their shares of State and Local Implementation Grant Program (SLIGP) 2.0 funding that could total as much as $43.4 million and can be used to pay for certain FirstNet-related activities, according a notice released yesterday by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA).
NTIA will administer SLIGP 2.0, as it did the initial SLIGP. SLIGP 2.0 will allow NTIA to redistribute unspent funds from the original SLIGP—as much as $43.4 million—that have been returned to NTIA voluntarily by states and territories, according to the to a notice of funding opportunity (NOFO) released yesterday. Funds from the original SLIGP will expire in February.
Language in the NOFO confirms that all states and territories will be eligible for SLIGP 2.0 funding. This position supports recent guidance from NTIA officials about the grant program, but it represents a reversal of initial indications that SLIGP 2.0 funding would be available only to states and territories making “opt-in” decisions that call for FirstNet partner AT&T to build the LTE radio access network (RAN) within their borders.
Applications for SLIGP 2.0 funding must be submitted by Dec. 28 “or no later than 91 days after the governor of an applicant state receives notice from FirstNet of its [official] state plan,” according to the NOFO. Official state-plan notification had not occurred as of publication of this article, but a FirstNet spokesperson indicated that should be delivered tomorrow, which would result in a SLIGP 2.0 application deadline of Dec. 29.
Funding awards for SLIGP 2.0 will be distributed in two increments, according to the NOFO. If all states and territories apply, the first increment will total $15.5 million and is expected to help fund activities from March 1, 2018, to Nov. 30, 2018. The second increment could total $27.9 million and is expected to be used from Dec. 1, 2018, to Feb. 29, 2020. However, the amount of second-increment funding is unknown at this time, because it is dependent upon the amount of unspent SLIGP money—a figure that has not been finalized at this point.
The amount of SLIGP 2.0 funding available to a state or territory will be based on population, in a tiered system.
Tier One includes the 12 most-populous states: California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas and Virginia. Each of these states will be eligible for a maximum of $1.2 million through SLIGP 2.0—$425,000 in first-increment funding and a maximum of $775,000 in second-increment funding.
Tier Three includes the 12 least-populous states: Alaska, American Samoa, Delaware, District of Columbia, Guam, Montana, North Dakota, Northern Mariana Islands, South Dakota, U.S. Virgin Islands, Vermont and Wyoming. Each of these states and territories will be eligible for a maximum of $550,000 through SLIGP 2.0—$250,000 in first-increment funding and a maximum of $325,000 in second-increment funding.
All other states and territories are included in Tier Two. These state and territories will be eligible for a maximum of $700,000 through SLIGP 2.0—$250,000 in first-increment funding and a maximum of $450,000 in second-increment funding.
Generally, states and territories must provide a 20% match for SLIGP 2.0 funds, but this requirement will not apply to the island territories of Guam, American Samoa, the U.S. Virgin Islands and the Northern Mariana Islands, according to the NOFO. In addition, NTIA can grant a waiver to the matching requirement, if it is deemed to be “in the public interest” to do so, the notice states.
To qualify for SLIGP 2.0, each state or territory must designate a single point of contact (SPOC), but there are no mandatory activities that must be completed. However, SLIGP 2.0 fund can be utilized only for approved costs and activities that are different from the costs and activities that were allowed in the original SLIGP. Different lists of approved costs and activities for “opt-in” and “opt-out” states and territories are outlined in the NOFO.