Development of Programmatic Requirements for the State and Local Implementation Grant Program To Assist in Planning for the Nationwide Public Safety Broadband Network, 50481-50486 [2012-20502]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 77, No. 162 / Tuesday, August 21, 2012 / Notices in particular. While behavioral modifications, including temporarily vacating the area around the construction site, may be made by these species to avoid the resultant visual and acoustic disturbance, the availability of alternate areas within SFB and haul-out sites (including pupping sites) and feeding areas within the Bay has led NMFS to preliminarily determine that this action will have a negligible impact on California sea lion, Pacific harbor seal, harbor porpoise, and gray whale populations along the California coast. In addition, no take by Level A harassment (injury) or death is anticipated and harassment takes should be at the lowest level practicable due to incorporation of the mitigation measures mentioned previously in this document. Impact on Availability of Affected Species for Taking for Subsistence Uses There are no relevant subsistence uses of marine mammals implicated by this action. National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) NMFS’ prepared an Environmental Assessment (EA) for the take of marine mammals incidental to construction of the East Span of the SF–OBB and made a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) on November 4, 2003. Due to the modification of part of the construction project and the mitigation measures, NMFS reviewed additional information from CALTRANS regarding empirical measurements of pile driving noises for the smaller temporary piles without an air bubble curtain system and the use of vibratory pile driving. NMFS prepared a Supplemental Environmental Assessment (SEA) and analyzed the potential impacts to marine mammals that would result from the modification of the action. A Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) was signed on August 5, 2009. A copy of the SEA and FONSI is available upon request (see ADDRESSES). pmangrum on DSK3VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES Endangered Species Act (ESA) NMFS has determined that issuance of the IHA will have no effect on listed marine mammals, as none are known to occur in the action area. Proposed Authorization NMFS proposes to issue an IHA to CALTRANS for the potential harassment of small numbers of harbor seals, California sea lions, harbor porpoises, and gray whales incidental to construction of a replacement bridge for the East Span of the San FranciscoOakland Bay Bridge in California, VerDate Mar<15>2010 15:31 Aug 20, 2012 Jkt 226001 provided the previously mentioned mitigation, monitoring, and reporting requirements are incorporated. NMFS has preliminarily determined that the proposed activity would result in the harassment of only small numbers of harbor seals, California sea lions, harbor porpoises, and possibly gray whales and will have no more than a negligible impact on these marine mammal stocks. Dated: August 15, 2012. Helen M. Golde, Acting Director, Office of Protected Resources, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. 2012–20514 Filed 8–20–12; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Telecommunications and Information Administration [Docket No. 120509050–2325–02] RIN 0660–XC001 Development of Programmatic Requirements for the State and Local Implementation Grant Program To Assist in Planning for the Nationwide Public Safety Broadband Network National Telecommunications and Information Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce. ACTION: Notice. AGENCY: The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) issues this Notice to announce requirements for the State and Local Implementation Grant Program authorized by section 6302 of the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012 (Act). The Notice describes the programmatic requirements under which NTIA will award grants to assist state, local, and tribal governments with planning for a nationwide interoperable public safety broadband network. DATES: The programmatic requirements for the State and Local Implementation Grant Program become effective August 21, 2012. ADDRESSES: The programmatic requirements for the State and Local Implementation Grant Program will be posted to the NTIA Web site at http:// www.ntia.doc.gov. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Laura M. Pettus, Program Specialist, Office of Telecommunications and Information Applications, National Telecommunications and Information Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW., Room 4812, Washington, DC SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00025 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 50481 20230; telephone: (202) 482–5802. Please direct media inquiries to NTIA’s Office of Public Affairs, (202) 482–7002. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Background On February 22, 2012, President Obama signed into law the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012 (Act).1 The Act meets a long-standing priority of the Obama Administration to create a single, nationwide interoperable public safety broadband network that will, for the first time, allow police officers, fire fighters, emergency medical service professionals, and other public safety officials to communicate with each other across agencies and jurisdictions. Public safety workers have long been hindered by incompatible, and often outdated, communications equipment and this Act will help them to do their jobs more safely and effectively. The Act establishes the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) as an independent authority within NTIA and authorizes it to take all actions necessary to ensure the design, construction, and operation of a nationwide public safety broadband network (PSBN), based on a single, national network architecture.2 FirstNet is responsible for, at a minimum, ensuring nationwide standards for use of and access to the network; issuing open, transparent, and competitive requests for proposals (RFPs) to build, operate, and maintain the network; encouraging these RFPs to leverage, to the maximum extent economically desirable, existing commercial wireless infrastructure to speed deployment of the network; and overseeing contracts with non-federal entities to build, operate, and maintain the network.3 Additionally, the Act charges NTIA with establishing a grant program to assist state, regional, tribal, and local jurisdictions with identifying, planning, and implementing the most efficient and effective means to use and integrate the infrastructure, equipment, and other architecture associated with the nationwide PSBN to satisfy the wireless broadband and data services needs of their jurisdictions.4 Up to $135 million in grant money will be available to NTIA for the State and Local Implementation Grant Program.5 To implement the new program, NTIA must establish requirements, in 1 Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012, Public Law 112–96, 126 Stat. 156 (2012) (Act). 2 47 U.S.C. 1422 (b), 1426(b)(1). 3 Id. 4 47 U.S.C. 1442(a). 5 47 U.S.C. 1441(c). E:\FR\FM\21AUN1.SGM 21AUN1 50482 Federal Register / Vol. 77, No. 162 / Tuesday, August 21, 2012 / Notices consultation with FirstNet, by August 22, 2012. These requirements include: Determining the scope of eligible activities that the grant program will fund, defining eligible costs, and prioritizing grants for activities that ensure coverage in rural as well as urban areas.6 The U.S. Secretary of Commerce appointed the FirstNet Board of Directors on August 20, 2012, and NTIA initiated consultations with FirstNet on the requirements for the State and Local Implementation Grant Program. NTIA may refine further the programmatic requirements announced in this Notice based on these ongoing consultations. II. Overview of Public Comments On May 16, 2012, NTIA issued a Request for Information (RFI) seeking public comment on various issues related to the development of the State and Local Implementation Grant Program.7 Specifically, the RFI requested comment on how FirstNet should conduct the consultation process with regional, state, tribal, and local jurisdictions; how to incorporate existing public safety governance and planning authorities into the development of the PSBN; how best to leverage existing infrastructure for use in the PSBN; what state and local actions should be eligible grant activities; and issues related to state funding and performance requirements.8 NTIA received approximately 70 comments from a wide range of stakeholders, including states, local and tribal governments, federal and state agencies, trade associations, private companies, consultants, and individuals. The majority of the comments discuss each of the issues identified in the RFI, and NTIA relied on the comments for guidance to frame the requirements of the State and Local Implementation Grant Program, particularly to develop the overarching direction of the program as it relates to the collection of data and the consultation process with FirstNet. In some cases, the comments address matters not specifically covered in the RFI, such as the need for a web-based repository of information, the need for clarification on the applicability of pmangrum on DSK3VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES 6 47 U.S.C. 1442(c). of the State and Local Implementation Grant Program for the Nationwide Public Safety Broadband Network, Request for Information, 77 FR 28857 (May 16, 2012) (RFI). NTIA has posted all comments received in response to the RFI on its Web site at http://www.ntia.doc. gov/federal-register-notice/2012/commentsdevelopment-state-and-local-implementation-grantprogram. 8 Id. at 28858–59. 7 Development VerDate Mar<15>2010 15:31 Aug 20, 2012 Jkt 226001 vendor conflict of interest rules, the importance of developing the PSBN business models, and the necessary considerations for network sustainability.9 While these comments raise important issues, many of these matters are within the purview of FirstNet and are better left for its consideration as it carries out its responsibilities under the Act. As a result, NTIA has not incorporated these concerns into the requirements for the State and Local Implementation Grant Program, but will pass the information along to FirstNet for its consideration. A. Data Collection Overwhelmingly, the commenters agree that FirstNet must establish a standardized process before the states engage in any data collection activities.10 The state commenters, in particular, point out that it would not be an efficient use of their resources to 9 See, e.g., State of New York at 2, 4, and 7, available at http://www.ntia.doc.gov/files/ntia/ state_of_new_york_response_to_ntia_grant_rfi_ june_15_2012.pdf; State of Texas at 9, 14, available at http://www.ntia.doc.gov/files/ntia/ntia_texas_rfi_ v10.1_061512.pdf; Motorola Solutions, Inc. at 2, 7– 8, available at http://www.ntia.doc.gov/files/ntia/ final_ntia_rfi_comments.pdf; Operator Advisory Committee (OAC) at 10–11, 13–14, available at http://www.ntia.doc.gov/files/ntia/psst-oac_ntia_ rfi_response_finalv3.pdf; Los Angeles Regional Interoperable Communications System Authority (LA–RICS) at 4, available at http://www.ntia.doc. gov/files/ntia/ntia_rfi_laricscomments_final.pdf; Mid-Atlantic SWICs at 8–9, available at http://www. ntia.doc.gov/files/ntia/mid-atlantic_swics_ comments_on_ntia_rfi_6-15-2012_final.pdf. 10 See Arizona Department of Homeland Security at 9, available at http://www.ntia.doc.gov/files/ntia/ azdohs.pdf; Carlos Delatorre at 9, available at http://www.ntia.doc.gov/files/ntia/carlos_delatorre_ comments.pdf; National States Geographic Information Council (NSGIC) at 4, available at http://www.ntia.doc.gov/files/ntia/nsgic_response_ 061412.pdf; Michael A. Scales, available at http:// www.ntia.doc.gov/federal-register-notice/2012/ comments-development-state-and-localimplementation-grant-program?page=1#comment29357; National Governors Association at 2, available at http://www.ntia.doc.gov/files/ntia/ letter_to_ntia_re_state_and_local_implemenation_ grant_final_signed.docx.pdf; National Association of State Chief Information Officers (NASCIO) at 3, available at http://www.ntia.doc.gov/files/ntia/ nascio_response_to_ntia_psbn_grant_program_ final.pdf; FEMA Region 5 Regional Emergency Communications Coordination Working Group (RECCWG) at 6–7, available at http://www.ntia.doc. gov/files/ntia/fema_region5_reccwg_ntia_rfi_ responses_june_2012_ver7.pdf; Ventera at 4, available at http://www.ntia.doc.gov/files/ntia/ntia_ public_comments_sligp.pdf; Commonwealth of Kentucky at 1, available at http://www.ntia.doc. gov/files/ntia/kybroadbandrfi.pdf; Rhode Island Broadband Program Director at 12, available at http://www.ntia.doc.gov/files/ntia/ntia_rfi_ response_001.pdf; State of Utah at 5, available at http://www.ntia.doc.gov/files/ntia/state_of_utah_ ntia_rfi_response_final_6-15-12.pdf; State of North Dakota at 5–6, available at http://www.ntia.doc.gov/ files/ntia/north_dakota_firstnet_planning_rfi_ response_120509050-1050-01.pdf; Raytheon at 2, available at http://www.ntia.doc.gov/files/ntia/ raytheon_rfi_response_to_ntia__15-jun-12.pdf. PO 00000 Frm 00026 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 begin collecting data that might not be useful or necessary during their consultations with FirstNet.11 Many commenters provide helpful input about the data the states should collect and how they could best identify the assets and infrastructure that FirstNet might leverage for the PSBN.12 Recommended assets to identify and evaluate include existing radio tower sites, fiber and microwave links, and governmentowned properties that might be suitable for new wireless infrastructure, such as building rooftops and water towers.13 Several commenters also recommend that FirstNet create a standard template, along with a standardized database, for the states to use to collect and submit information on asset inventories.14 B. The Consultation Process With FirstNet Many commenters believe that preparing to consult effectively with FirstNet will require states to dedicate their already limited resources, specifically funds and personnel, to this task.15 The comments emphasize that effective consultations with FirstNet will require a significant amount of 11 See State of California at 5, available at http://www.ntia.doc.gov/files/ntia/ california_state_response.pdf; State of South Dakota at 1, available at http://www.ntia.doc.gov/files/ntia/ national_public_safety_broadband_public_ comments.pdf. 12 See State of South Dakota at 1; Arizona Department of Homeland Security at 4–5; Carlos Delatorre at 3; State of Oregon at 1, available at http://www.ntia.doc.gov/files/ntia/oregon_rfi_ comments.pdf; NSGIC at 2; State of Georgia at 1– 3, available at http://www.ntia.doc.gov/files/ntia/ state_of_georgia_response_06-14-2012.pdf; LA– RICS at 3–5; Mid-Atlantic SWICs at 9; FEMA Region 5 RECCWG at 2, 12–13; OAC at 3–5; BayRICS at 3–4, available at http:// www.ntia.doc.gov/files/ntia/bayrics_ntia_rfi_ slpgp.pdf; Motorola Solutions at 3, 7–9; PCIA-The Wireless Infrastructure Association at 5–6, available at http://www.ntia.doc.gov/files/ntia/ntia_state_and _local_grant_program_rfi_pcia_comments_6-15-12_ final.pdf; Alcatel-Lucent at 5–8, available at http:// www.ntia.doc.gov/files/ntia/alu_comments_on_ntia _ps_rfi.pdf; Tilson Government Services, LLC at 4, available at http://www.ntia.doc.gov/files/ntia/ tilsonrficomments.pdf; Raytheon at 6; Connected Nation at 4, available at http://www.ntia.doc.gov/ files/ntia/cn_letter_on_firstnet_rfi_6_15_2012_ final.pdf; Northrop Grumman Information Systems at 2–4, available at http://www.ntia.doc.gov/files/ ntia/northrop_grumman_comments.pdf; North Central Regional Broadband Data Consortium at 2– 4, available at http://www.ntia.doc.gov/files/ntia/ ncrbdc_comments.pdf. 13 See Mid-Atlantic SWICs at 8; Arizona Department of Homeland Security at 4–5; NSGIC at 2. 14 See Mid-Atlantic SWICs at 8; State of Georgia at 5; State of New Jersey at 5, available at http:// www.ntia.doc.gov/files/ntia/new_jersey_ntia_rfi_ sligp_response_6_15_2012.pdf. 15 See State of Colorado Governor’s Office of Information Technology at 2, available at http:// www.ntia.doc.gov/files/ntia/colorado_office_of_ information_technology_comments.pdf (stating that the collection of relevant data ‘‘will take significant effort in both human and capital resources’’). E:\FR\FM\21AUN1.SGM 21AUN1 Federal Register / Vol. 77, No. 162 / Tuesday, August 21, 2012 / Notices pmangrum on DSK3VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES planning and preparation for all stakeholders that could span several months, if not years.16 The states, in particular, observe that without grant funds to hire staff, conduct meetings with the various stakeholders, and develop the necessary governance structures, the states cannot consult with FirstNet in a meaningful way.17 Many commenters agree that state, local, and tribal jurisdictions lack the staff and/or technical ability to manage a project of this size without federal support.18 NTIA agrees that FirstNet is in the best position to develop standards for the collection of data on assets and infrastructure that might be used or incorporated into the PSBN.19 As a result, NTIA believes that it would not be a prudent use of grant funds to allow the states to undertake data gathering and collection activities, such as asset inventories, before FirstNet has developed guidance on the information it will need. Additionally, NTIA understands that coordination with FirstNet will involve a substantial amount of time and planning and many states face significant resource constraints, particularly with staffing levels, to participate effectively in this effort.20 16 See California Emergency Management Agency at 3, available at http://www.ntia.doc.gov/files/ntia/ california_state_response.pdf. 17 See State of Nevada at 3, available at http:// www.ntia.doc.gov/files/ntia/state_of_nevada_ntia_ docket_no_120509050-1050-01.pdf (‘‘Implementation and planning grants must be used to fund that data collection and assessment effort in addition to the other tasks required to establish the State’s network requirements.’’); State of Mississippi at 3, available at http:// www.ntia.doc.gov/files/ntia/state_of_ms_response_ to_ntia_rfi_final_6_15_12.pdf (‘‘Grant funding should also be used to provide the support for dedicated state staff and consultants to develop essential data for FirstNet as well as funding to support outreach and education efforts directly related to the PSBN.’’). 18 See State of Georgia at 1 (‘‘Very few, if any, States or locals have the staff and technical expertise to manage a project of this size, complexity and importance on a full time basis.’’); State of New York at 2 (‘‘Many states lack the state and local resources to collect this data.’’); State of North Dakota at 1–2 (grant funds should be available for staffing requirements and planning activities). 19 See Commonwealth of Massachusetts at 4, available athttp://www.ntia.doc.gov/files/ntia/mass _eopss_final_june_14_2012-2.pdf; State of Oregon at 5–6; State of Georgia at 5; APCO International at 5, available at http://www.ntia.doc.gov/files/ntia/ apco_comments_on_ntia_rfi.pdf; LA–RICS at 9; State of Montana at 3, available at http://www.ntia. doc.gov/files/ntia/montana_response_ntia_npsbn_ rfi_061412.pdf; OAC at 10; State of Nevada at 2–3; State of Colorado Governor’s Office of Information Technology at 2. 20 See South Dakota Bureau of Information & Telecommunications at 1, available at http://www. ntia.doc.gov/files/ntia/national_public_safety_ broadband_public_comments.pdf. VerDate Mar<15>2010 15:31 Aug 20, 2012 Jkt 226001 Based in large part on this feedback, and in keeping with the intent of the Act, NTIA believes that, given the funds available and the need for FirstNet to make initial decisions on the data collection process, it can make the most efficient and effective use of grant dollars by focusing the State and Local Implementation Grant Program on planning and development activities in preparation for consultations with FirstNet.21 III. Establishment of Programmatic Requirements for the State and Local Implementation Grant Program A. Funding Distribution Consistent with the statutory framework, NTIA plans to design the State and Local Implementation Grant Program as a formula-based, matching grant program to assist states, in collaboration with regional, tribal, and local jurisdictions, with activities related to planning for the establishment of a nationwide public safety broadband network.22 NTIA is not announcing procedures for the submission of grant applications in this Notice nor is it accepting applications at this time. NTIA intends to release a Federal Funding Opportunity (FFO) notice that will provide information on topics including: The amount of funding available for award and how NTIA will allocate funds to applicants, instructions on the application process, and the evaluation criteria for application review. Subject to activities of FirstNet, NTIA expects to issue a FFO and open the application window during the first quarter of calendar year 2013. This time frame will allow NTIA to complete the administrative functions it must undertake to prepare to award grants under this program. NTIA plans to distribute the funding available under this grant program in two phases, and will consider the input solicited through the RFI to develop a methodology to distribute the available funds.23 The commenters suggest numerous factors as relevant to allocating these funds, including: Population; 24 population density; 25 land mass; 26 geography and 21 See 47 U.S.C. 1442(a). id. 23 See RFI, 77 FR at 28859. 24 See State of Georgia at 12; LA–RICS at 20; State of New York at 10. 25 See Commonwealth of Massachusetts at 12; USDA-Rural Utilities Service (USDA–RUS), available at http://www.ntia.doc.gov/federalregister-notice/2012/comments-development-stateand-local-implementation-grant-program#comment -29426. 26 See State of South Dakota at 5. 22 See PO 00000 Frm 00027 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 50483 topography; 27 risk, threat, and vulnerability; 28 probability of disaster; 29 expected level of effort required for completion; 30 existing critical infrastructure; 31 number of highway miles; 32 demand and marketing components; 33 number of regional/local/tribal governmental entities using the network; 34 number of first responders using the network; 35 effective signal propagation; 36 amount of uncovered rural broadband customers; 37 prioritization of rural areas; 38 areas with backhaul deficiencies; 39 length of international borders; 40 and amount of tribal lands.41 Additionally, some commenters propose that NTIA provide each state with an initial, equal distribution of funds to enable the states to accomplish certain planning tasks.42 NTIA will take this input into account and consider those factors that can be quantified in developing the formula it will use to allocate the available grant funds among eligible applicants. NTIA will announce this formula when it issues the FFO. B. Eligible Applicants The 56 states and territories are eligible for grants under the State and Local Implementation Grant Program. The Act directs NTIA to make grants to states; thus, each state and territory choosing to apply for a grant should 27 See State of Oregon at 16; State of Montana at 8; State of Maine at 3, available at http:// www.ntia.doc.gov/files/ntia/firstnetrfiresponse.pdf; Florida at 18, available at http://www.ntia.doc.gov/ files/ntia/florida_response_to_ntia_rfi_state_and_ local_implementation_grant.pdf; Tilson Government Services, LLC at 11. 28 See Arizona Department of Homeland Security at 15; State of Georgia at 12; BayRICS at 12–13. 29 See State of Texas at 13. 30 See Carlos Delatorre at 18–19; Florida at 18; State of North Dakota at 13; Washington State Interoperability Executive Committee at 4, available at http://www.ntia.doc.gov/files/ntia/wa_siec_ response_to_ntia_rfi_06152012.pdf. 31 See State of Georgia at 12; State of Maine at 3; FEMA Region 5 RECCWG at 15; North Central Regional Broadband Data Consortium at 13–14. 32 See State of Nevada at 6–7; State of Utah at 14; State of Mississippi at 20. 33 See APCO International at 7. 34 See Mid-Atlantic SWICs at 11; Florida at 18; OAC at 22. 35 See FEMA Region 5 RECCWG at 15; OAC at 22. 36 See State of Maine at 3. 37 See State of Nevada at 7; State of Mississippi at 20. 38 See Mendocino County, California at 3, available at http://www.ntia.doc.gov/files/ntia/ mendocinocommentsonntiafirstnetrfi.pdf. 39 See State of Utah at 14. 40 See State of Texas at 14; State of North Dakota at 13; Washington State Interoperability Executive Committee at 3. 41 See State of North Dakota at 13. 42 See, e.g., Commonwealth of Massachusetts at 2, 4 (proposing that NTIA give each state $500,000 to establish and operate a Public Safety Broadband office). E:\FR\FM\21AUN1.SGM 21AUN1 50484 Federal Register / Vol. 77, No. 162 / Tuesday, August 21, 2012 / Notices submit an individual application during the application window. An applicant may decide, however, to collaborate or coordinate with other states and regions in preparing application submissions, as is contemplated in the statute.43 NTIA will specify in the FFO the exact contents of the application package that applicants must submit during the application window. There are several items, however, that NTIA will likely require, and applicants may prepare to address them in advance of the FFO’s publication. First, the Act directs each state to certify in its application for grant funds that the state has designated a single officer or governmental body to serve as the coordinator of the grant funds.44 This designated officer or governmental body will also be responsible for determining the method of consultation between FirstNet and the state.45 Multiple commenters urge NTIA to give the states flexibility in making this decision.46 Commenters point out that states are best equipped to identify the most appropriate office or governmental body suited to this task, which may vary from state to state, as well as the personnel qualified to act in this capacity.47 Accordingly, NTIA will give states flexibility in determining which state officer or governmental body to designate as the coordinator of the grant funds. Second, in response to concerns expressed by some commenters and consistent with the intent of the statute, NTIA will likely ask applicants to describe how they plan to collect input from local and tribal jurisdictions to ensure that their public safety needs are adequately represented during the consultation process with FirstNet and in the coordination of the grant funds.48 43 47 U.S.C. 1442(a). U.S.C. 1442(d). 45 47 U.S.C. 1426(c)(2)(B). 46 See State of Oregon at 2; State of California at 3; Nebraska at 2, available at http:// www.ntia.doc.gov/files/ntia/1399_001.pdf; Florida at 4. 47 See Minnesota at 4, available at http:// www.ntia.doc.gov/files/ntia/ecn_ntia_rfi_grant_ filing_06_15_2012_d4_final.pdf; State of New York at 3; State of Hawaii at 5–6, available at http:// www.ntia.doc.gov/files/ntia/state_of_hawaii_sligp_ rfi_response.pdf; State of Georgia at 3; State of Texas at 2–3. 48 See 47 U.S.C. 1442(a); see also National Congress of American Indians at 2–3, available at http://www.ntia.doc.gov/files/ntia/ncai_comments_ on_sligp_06152012f.pdf (NTIA and FirstNet must ‘‘institute rules and reporting requirements to ensure that tribal governments are included in the planning and implementation process’’); NASCIO at 2–3 (‘‘The State and Local Implementation grant program should encourage states to leverage all preexisting relationships to ensure coordination and input into the planning process.’’); State of Alaska at 1, available at http://www.ntia.doc.gov/files/ntia/ pmangrum on DSK3VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES 44 47 VerDate Mar<15>2010 15:31 Aug 20, 2012 Jkt 226001 Third, NTIA requested comment on how the existing public safety governance and planning authorities in each state might be incorporated into the consultations with FirstNet about the PSBN.49 While each state may be at different stages in their development of their public safety governance structures, the commenters generally agree that the states should use established governing bodies in the PSBN consultations.50 Because the governance structures tend to vary from state to state, NTIA will likely ask the states to discuss how they will leverage their existing governance structures in the PSBN consultations. Finally, because these public safety governance structures have traditionally focused solely on interoperable Land Mobile Radio (LMR) voice communications, NTIA anticipates asking applicants to describe how they intend to expand the expertise of their governance structures to include representatives with an understanding of broadband and Long Term Evolution (LTE) technology to state_of_alaska_response_to_ntia_rfi.pdf (‘‘Any mechanisms that mandate involvement of federal, local, and tribal users would not be unreasonable to the degree that involvement levels could be determined by the states.’’); New Mexico Department of Information Technology at 3, available at http://www.ntia.doc.gov/files/ntia/rfi_ response_final_15jun12.pdf (suggesting each state ‘‘provide a plan for ensuring inclusion of local and tribal entities via aggregate structure’’); LA–RICS at 6 (‘‘NTIA should allow each State to determine the best method for undertaking [involving tribal entities] and include a description and plan in its grant application.’’); Commonwealth of Massachusetts at 2–3 (saying that it should be a stipulation for funding that ‘‘the responsible state governing body ensures that local and tribal (if applicable) participation in the planning process is present’’); APCO International at 1 (‘‘[S]tates must place the highest priority on establishing or enhancing governance structures that ensure adequate representation of local jurisdictions in their respective [S]tates.’’). 49 RFI, 77 FR at 28858–59. 50 See State of Montana at 3–4 (‘‘[T]o facilitate the planning and deployment [of the PSBN,] an already established governing body and governance structure in each individual [S]tate should be utilized.’’); FEMA Region 5 RECCWG at 3 (‘‘[T]here is no need to establish a new governance structure, even though there is now a new technology to govern,’’ since the governance structures in place or being developed should already include representatives of multiple disciplines as well as local and tribal responders.); Florida at 7–8 (finding that even though the underlying technology is changing, the mission of the Interoperability Governing Bodies (IGBs) remains, and therefore, ‘‘existing IGBs should continue to have principle [sic] responsibility for interoperability within the NPSBN’’); Minnesota at 8 (‘‘[E]xisting IGBs should continue to have principle [sic] responsibility for interoperability within the NPSBN.’’); New Mexico Department of Information Technology at 5–6 (stating that the current governance structures can and should be considered for use with the PSBN); Montgomery County, Maryland at 6, available at http://www.ntia.doc.gov/files/ntia/commentsmontgomerycountymd.pdf (emphasizing that existing public safety governance and planning authorities’ voices must be heard in the program). PO 00000 Frm 00028 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 facilitate their consultations with FirstNet. C. Allowable Grant Activities The State and Local Implementation Grant Program will support activities related to planning for the establishment of the nationwide PSBN. NTIA received detailed input from the majority of commenters regarding the types of activities that it should allow under the grant program to accomplish this objective.51 Some of the activities that commenters identify include ensuring that states have an appropriate framework in place to consult with FirstNet,52 developing and managing personnel/administrative positions,53 conducting meetings,54 arranging travel,55 and providing public outreach and education as well as internal training.56 Commenters further note that some states may need to work with their legal teams to evaluate any potential local legal barriers, negotiate necessary agreements, and develop standard Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs) to govern access to assets and infrastructure that may used in the PSBN.57 51 See RFI, 77 Fed. Reg. at 28859. 6206(c)(2)(A) of the Act directs FirstNet to consult with regional, state, tribal, and local jurisdictions about the distribution and expenditure of any amounts required to carry out the network policies that it is charged with establishing, including (i) construction of a core network and any radio access network build-out; (ii) placement of towers; (iii) coverage areas of the network, whether at the regional, state, tribal, or local level; (iv) adequacy of hardware, security, reliability, and resiliency requirements; (v) assignment of priority to local users; (vi) assignment of priority and selection of entities seeking access to or use of the nationwide public safety interoperable broadband network; and (vii) training needs of local users. 47 U.S.C. 1426(c)(2)(A). 53 See State of South Dakota at 4; Arizona Department of Homeland Security at 13; State of Oregon at 12; State of California at 8; APCO International at 6; LA–RICS at 17; Anjee Toothaker at 2, available at http://www.ntia.doc.gov/files/ntia/ june_15_2012_ltr_to_natl_telecomm_and_ info_admin.pdf; FEMA Region 5 RECCWG at 12; Florida at 14; State of North Carolina at 5, available at http://www.ntia.doc.gov/files/ntia/ ntia_rfi_comments_by_north_carolina.pdf; Dr. Michael Myers at 14, available at http:// www.ntia.doc.gov/files/ntia/ meyers_rfi_response.pdf. 54 See LA–RICS at 17; Mid-Atlantic SWICs at 10– 11; State of Montana at 6; Commonwealth of Kentucky at 2; State of New York at 7; Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe 911 at 3, available at http:// www.ntia.doc.gov/files/ntia/ntia_rfi_comments _from_crst_911_corp_v2.pdf; State of Texas at 11. 55 See Carlos Delatorre at 15; Michael A. Scales; State of Utah at 11; State of Mississippi at 16; National Congress of American Indians at 6. 56 See State of Oregon at 12; State of California at 8; Commonwealth of Massachusetts at 9; State of Georgia at 9; Florida at 15. 57 See NACo, NLC, USCM & NATOA at 3, available at http://www.ntia.doc.gov/files/ntia/ response_to_rfi_on_grant_structure_final.pdf; State of South Dakota at 3; State of California at 1–2; LA– 52 Section E:\FR\FM\21AUN1.SGM 21AUN1 pmangrum on DSK3VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 77, No. 162 / Tuesday, August 21, 2012 / Notices NTIA anticipates structuring the State and Local Implementation Grant Program into two phases of funding for planning activities. The first phase will focus on initial planning and consultation activities, including strategy and timeline development, meetings, governance planning, and outreach and education efforts. The second phase will not begin until FirstNet has consulted with the statedesignated contact about the matters listed in the Act, including defining coverage needs, user requirements, and network hardening and resiliency requirements.58 The second funding phase will address states’ needs in preparing for additional consultation with FirstNet and planning to undertake data collection activities. NTIA will detail the full scope of allowable activities under the grant program in the FFO; however, NTIA will likely require recipients to show that they have accomplished the following activities by the end of the grant period of performance: (1) Established a governance structure, or expanded existing structures, to consult with FirstNet; (2) developed procedures to ensure local and tribal representation and participation in the consultation process with FirstNet; (3) created a process for education and outreach, through program development or through other efforts, among local and tribal officials, public safety users, and other stakeholders about the nationwide public safety broadband network; (4) identified potential public safety users of the public safety broadband network; (5) developed standard MOUs to facilitate the use of existing infrastructure, or identified the legal barriers to creating standard MOUs and described potential remedies; and (6) developed staffing plans that include local and tribal representation to participate in the public safety governance structure and to prepare for data collection activities in consultation with FirstNet. NTIA also will consider having grant recipients prepare a comprehensive plan, similar in concept to their existing Statewide Interoperability Communications Plans (SICPs), describing the public safety needs that they expect FirstNet to address in its design of the nationwide PSBN, as well as how they intend to satisfy each of the elements enumerated above, including milestones that demonstrate their progress. If sufficient funds are available, NTIA may permit grant recipients that have RICS at 5; State of New Jersey at 4; State of Nevada at 4; State of Texas at 12. 58 47 U.S.C. 1426(c)(2)(A). VerDate Mar<15>2010 15:31 Aug 20, 2012 Jkt 226001 satisfactorily completed the milestones associated with these initial planning requirements to use funds for supplemental activities related to preparing for any FirstNet data collections, such as determining staffing levels to dedicate to these tasks, designating a state point of contact for data collection, where appropriate, and evaluating the feasibility of using public/private partnerships. At present, NTIA does not expect to include the compiling of asset and infrastructure inventories as an allowable activity until FirstNet has developed a standardized process to govern data collection activities. D. Funding Restrictions—Eligible and Ineligible Costs Grantees may only use funds awarded under the State and Local Implementation Grant Program to pay eligible costs. Eligible costs are consistent with the cost principles identified in the applicable Office of Management and Budget (OMB) circulars 59 and in the grant program’s authorizing legislation. Based on input received from multiple commenters, eligible costs under the planning grant program will likely include the following categories of expenses: 1. Hiring staff and consultants required for the planning process (such as project managers, program directors, engineers, grant administrators, financial analysts, accountants, and attorneys); 2. Holding planning meetings with state agencies, local and tribal stakeholders, and regional partners; 3. Covering travel costs for state, local, and tribal representatives to attend planning meetings (such as preparing for FirstNet consultations and attending state, regional, and national meetings that address public safety broadband issues); 4. Developing, modifying, or enhancing state plans and governance structures, including efforts to adapt existing public safety governance authorities, such as the Statewide Interoperability Coordinators (SWIC), Statewide Interoperability Executive Committees (SIEC), and Statewide Interoperability Governing Bodies (SIGB), to include public safety broadband stakeholders and expertise, 59 Allowable costs are determined in accordance with the cost principles applicable to the entity incurring the costs. For example, the allowability of costs incurred by State, local or federallyrecognized Indian tribal governments is determined in accordance with the provisions of OMB Circular A–87, ‘‘Cost Principles for State, Local and Indian Tribal Governments,’’ 2 CFR Part 225. PO 00000 Frm 00029 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 50485 and determining the role of the state Chief Information Officers (CIO), Chief Technology Officers (CTO), or Chief Budget Officers (CBO); 5. Conducting communications, education, and outreach activities with state, local, tribal, and regional stakeholders; 6. Developing standardized MOUs and other types of agreements to facilitate access to and use of existing infrastructure; 7. Identifying potential public safety users for the public safety broadband network; 8. Administrative services and supplies necessary to prepare for and manage the grant program; 9. Legal services related to the planning process; and 10. Training costs related to the planning process. NTIA does not envision allowing funds awarded under the State and Local Implementation Grant Program to be used for activities related to site preparation, broadband deployment, installation, construction, or the acquisition of equipment used to provide wireless broadband services, including LTE-related activities. E. Rural Coverage Prioritization The Act provides that the State and Local Implementation Grant Program shall include requirements to prioritize grants for activities that ensure coverage in rural as well as urban areas.60 Some commenters note that states with a higher percentage of rural areas may face unique challenges; thus, designing a one-size-fits-all approach to ensuring rural coverage may not be appropriate for all circumstances.61 In designing the formula that it will use to allocate funds under the grant program, NTIA intends to avoid a solely population-based approach and will consider additional factors that affect rural coverage. Additionally, NTIA agrees that the states will need flexibility in determining the most effective means by which FirstNet can provide adequate rural coverage. While the FFO will describe in detail the exact contents of the application package, NTIA anticipates having the states address how they will prioritize their grant activities to ensure coverage in rural areas, including providing specific plans and metrics to demonstrate how they will achieve these requirements.62 60 47 U.S.C. 1442(c). State of South Dakota at 4; State of Georgia at 10; Arizona Department of Homeland Security at 13–14. 62 See State of Mississippi at 17; OAC at 20–21. 61 See E:\FR\FM\21AUN1.SGM 21AUN1 50486 Federal Register / Vol. 77, No. 162 / Tuesday, August 21, 2012 / Notices F. NTIA Consultations With FirstNet on the State and Local Implementation Grant Program Requirements As previously discussed, the Act directs NTIA to consult with FirstNet to establish the requirements of the State and Local Implementation Grant Program not later than 6 months after the date of the Act’s enactment, or by August 22, 2012. The Act also required that FirstNet be established no later than August 20, 2012. The Act’s framework, which essentially placed the creation of FirstNet and the development of the grant program requirements on parallel tracks, proved challenging for NTIA as it attempted to fulfill the statutory mandate to consult with FirstNet in establishing the State and Local Implementation Grant Program. As noted, NTIA has only started to consult with the newly-formed FirstNet Board on the grant program requirements outlined in this Notice. NTIA expects these consultations to proceed over the next few months as NTIA continues to prepare the FFO in which the State and Local Implementation Grant Program requirements will be described more fully. Dated: August 16, 2012. Lawrence E. Strickling, Assistant Secretary for Communications and Information. [FR Doc. 2012–20502 Filed 8–20–12; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–60–P COORDINATING COUNCIL ON JUVENILE JUSTICE AND DELINQUENCY PREVENTION [OJP (OJJDP) Docket No. 1601] Meeting of the Coordinating Council on Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Coordinating Council on Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. ACTION: Notice of meeting. AGENCY: The Coordinating Council on Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (Council) announces its next meeting. DATES: Friday, September 14, 2012 from 10:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. ADDRESSES: The meeting will take place in the third floor main conference room at the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, 810 7th St. NW., Washington, DC 20531. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Visit the Web site for the Coordinating Council at www.juvenilecouncil.gov or contact Robin Delany-Shabazz, pmangrum on DSK3VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES SUMMARY: VerDate Mar<15>2010 20:08 Aug 20, 2012 Jkt 226001 Designated Federal Official, by telephone at 202–307–9963 [Note: this is not a toll-free telephone number], or by email at Robin.Delany-Shabazz@ usdoj.gov or Geroma.Void@usdoj.gov. The meeting is open to the public. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Coordinating Council on Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, established pursuant to Section 3(2)A of the Federal Advisory Committee Act (5 U.S.C. App. 2) will meet to carry out its advisory functions under Section 206 of the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act of 2002, 42 U.S.C. 5601, et seq. Documents such as meeting announcements, agendas, minutes, and reports will be available on the Council’s Web page, www. juvenilecouncil.gov, where you may also obtain information on the meeting. Although designated agency representatives may attend, the Council membership is composed of the Attorney General (Chair), the Administrator of the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (Vice Chair), the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS), the Secretary of Labor, the Secretary of Education, the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, the Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, the Chief Executive Officer of the Corporation for National and Community Service, and the Assistant Secretary of Homeland Security for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. The nine additional members are appointed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives, the Senate Majority Leader, and the President of the United States. Other federal agencies take part in Council activities including the Departments of Agriculture, Defense, the Interior, and the Substance and Mental Health Services Administration of HHS. Meeting Agenda The agenda for this meeting includes: (a) Presentations on the distinct risk factors, needs and pathways to success for girls and young women ‘‘at the margins’’ of society; (b) discussions of potential areas where agency coordination might improve delivery of services and outcomes for girls; and (c) agency updates and announcements. Registration For security purposes, members of the public who wish to attend the meeting must pre-register online at www. juvenilecouncil.gov no later than Monday, September 10, 2012. Should problems arise with web registration, call Daryel Dunston at 240–221–4343 or send a request to register to Mr. PO 00000 Frm 00030 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Dunston. Include name, title, organization or other affiliation, full address and phone, fax and email information and send to his attention either by fax to 301–945–4295, or by email to ddunston@edjassociates.com. [Note: These are not toll-free telephone numbers.] Additional identification documents may be required. Space is limited. Note: Photo identification will be required for admission to the meeting. Written Comments: Interested parties may submit written comments and questions by Monday, September 10, 2012, to Robin Delany-Shabazz, Designated Federal Official for the Coordinating Council on Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, at Robin.Delany-Shabazz@usdoj.gov. The Coordinating Council on Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention expects that the public statements presented will not repeat previously submitted statements. Written questions from the public may also be invited at the meeting. Melodee Hanes, Acting Administrator. [FR Doc. 2012–20525 Filed 8–20–12; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4410–18–P DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY [OE Docket No. EA–294–B] Application To Export Electric Energy; TexMex Energy, LLC Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability, DOE. ACTION: Notice of application. AGENCY: TexMex Energy, LLC (TexMex) has applied to renew its authority to transmit electric energy from the United States to Mexico pursuant to section 202(e) of the Federal Power Act (FPA). DATES: Comments, protests, or motions to intervene must be submitted on or before September 20, 2012. ADDRESSES: Comments, protests, or motions to intervene should be addressed to: Christopher Lawrence, Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability, Mail Code: OE–20, U.S. Department of Energy, 1000 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20585–0350. Because of delays in handling conventional mail, it is recommended that documents be transmitted by overnight mail, by electronic mail to Christopher.Lawrence@hq.doe.gov, or by facsimile to 202–586–8008. SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\21AUN1.SGM 21AUN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 162 (Tuesday, August 21, 2012)]
[Notices]
[Pages 50481-50486]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-20502]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Telecommunications and Information Administration

[Docket No. 120509050-2325-02]
RIN 0660-XC001


Development of Programmatic Requirements for the State and Local 
Implementation Grant Program To Assist in Planning for the Nationwide 
Public Safety Broadband Network

AGENCY: National Telecommunications and Information Administration, 
U.S. Department of Commerce.

ACTION: Notice.

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SUMMARY: The National Telecommunications and Information Administration 
(NTIA) issues this Notice to announce requirements for the State and 
Local Implementation Grant Program authorized by section 6302 of the 
Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012 (Act). The Notice 
describes the programmatic requirements under which NTIA will award 
grants to assist state, local, and tribal governments with planning for 
a nationwide interoperable public safety broadband network.

DATES: The programmatic requirements for the State and Local 
Implementation Grant Program become effective August 21, 2012.

ADDRESSES: The programmatic requirements for the State and Local 
Implementation Grant Program will be posted to the NTIA Web site at 
http://www.ntia.doc.gov.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Laura M. Pettus, Program Specialist, 
Office of Telecommunications and Information Applications, National 
Telecommunications and Information Administration, U.S. Department of 
Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW., Room 4812, Washington, DC 
20230; telephone: (202) 482-5802. Please direct media inquiries to 
NTIA's Office of Public Affairs, (202) 482-7002.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Background

    On February 22, 2012, President Obama signed into law the Middle 
Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012 (Act).\1\ The Act meets a 
long-standing priority of the Obama Administration to create a single, 
nationwide interoperable public safety broadband network that will, for 
the first time, allow police officers, fire fighters, emergency medical 
service professionals, and other public safety officials to communicate 
with each other across agencies and jurisdictions. Public safety 
workers have long been hindered by incompatible, and often outdated, 
communications equipment and this Act will help them to do their jobs 
more safely and effectively.
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    \1\ Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012, Public 
Law 112-96, 126 Stat. 156 (2012) (Act).
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    The Act establishes the First Responder Network Authority 
(FirstNet) as an independent authority within NTIA and authorizes it to 
take all actions necessary to ensure the design, construction, and 
operation of a nationwide public safety broadband network (PSBN), based 
on a single, national network architecture.\2\ FirstNet is responsible 
for, at a minimum, ensuring nationwide standards for use of and access 
to the network; issuing open, transparent, and competitive requests for 
proposals (RFPs) to build, operate, and maintain the network; 
encouraging these RFPs to leverage, to the maximum extent economically 
desirable, existing commercial wireless infrastructure to speed 
deployment of the network; and overseeing contracts with non-federal 
entities to build, operate, and maintain the network.\3\
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    \2\ 47 U.S.C. 1422 (b), 1426(b)(1).
    \3\ Id.
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    Additionally, the Act charges NTIA with establishing a grant 
program to assist state, regional, tribal, and local jurisdictions with 
identifying, planning, and implementing the most efficient and 
effective means to use and integrate the infrastructure, equipment, and 
other architecture associated with the nationwide PSBN to satisfy the 
wireless broadband and data services needs of their jurisdictions.\4\ 
Up to $135 million in grant money will be available to NTIA for the 
State and Local Implementation Grant Program.\5\
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    \4\ 47 U.S.C. 1442(a).
    \5\ 47 U.S.C. 1441(c).
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    To implement the new program, NTIA must establish requirements, in

[[Page 50482]]

consultation with FirstNet, by August 22, 2012. These requirements 
include: Determining the scope of eligible activities that the grant 
program will fund, defining eligible costs, and prioritizing grants for 
activities that ensure coverage in rural as well as urban areas.\6\ The 
U.S. Secretary of Commerce appointed the FirstNet Board of Directors on 
August 20, 2012, and NTIA initiated consultations with FirstNet on the 
requirements for the State and Local Implementation Grant Program. NTIA 
may refine further the programmatic requirements announced in this 
Notice based on these ongoing consultations.
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    \6\ 47 U.S.C. 1442(c).
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II. Overview of Public Comments

    On May 16, 2012, NTIA issued a Request for Information (RFI) 
seeking public comment on various issues related to the development of 
the State and Local Implementation Grant Program.\7\ Specifically, the 
RFI requested comment on how FirstNet should conduct the consultation 
process with regional, state, tribal, and local jurisdictions; how to 
incorporate existing public safety governance and planning authorities 
into the development of the PSBN; how best to leverage existing 
infrastructure for use in the PSBN; what state and local actions should 
be eligible grant activities; and issues related to state funding and 
performance requirements.\8\
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    \7\ Development of the State and Local Implementation Grant 
Program for the Nationwide Public Safety Broadband Network, Request 
for Information, 77 FR 28857 (May 16, 2012) (RFI). NTIA has posted 
all comments received in response to the RFI on its Web site at 
http://www.ntia.doc.gov/federal-register-notice/2012/comments-development-state-and-local-implementation-grant-program.
    \8\ Id. at 28858-59.
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    NTIA received approximately 70 comments from a wide range of 
stakeholders, including states, local and tribal governments, federal 
and state agencies, trade associations, private companies, consultants, 
and individuals. The majority of the comments discuss each of the 
issues identified in the RFI, and NTIA relied on the comments for 
guidance to frame the requirements of the State and Local 
Implementation Grant Program, particularly to develop the overarching 
direction of the program as it relates to the collection of data and 
the consultation process with FirstNet.
    In some cases, the comments address matters not specifically 
covered in the RFI, such as the need for a web-based repository of 
information, the need for clarification on the applicability of vendor 
conflict of interest rules, the importance of developing the PSBN 
business models, and the necessary considerations for network 
sustainability.\9\ While these comments raise important issues, many of 
these matters are within the purview of FirstNet and are better left 
for its consideration as it carries out its responsibilities under the 
Act. As a result, NTIA has not incorporated these concerns into the 
requirements for the State and Local Implementation Grant Program, but 
will pass the information along to FirstNet for its consideration.
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    \9\ See, e.g., State of New York at 2, 4, and 7, available at 
http://www.ntia.doc.gov/files/ntia/state_of_new_york_response_to_ntia_grant_rfi_june_15_2012.pdf; State of Texas at 9, 14, 
available at http://www.ntia.doc.gov/files/ntia/ntia_texas_rfi_v10.1_061512.pdf; Motorola Solutions, Inc. at 2, 7-8, available at 
http://www.ntia.doc.gov/files/ntia/final_ntia_rfi_comments.pdf; 
Operator Advisory Committee (OAC) at 10-11, 13-14, available at 
http://www.ntia.doc.gov/files/ntia/psst-oac_ntia_rfi_response_finalv3.pdf; Los Angeles Regional Interoperable Communications 
System Authority (LA-RICS) at 4, available at http://www.ntia.doc.gov/files/ntia/ntia_rfi_laricscomments_final.pdf; 
Mid-Atlantic SWICs at 8-9, available at http://www.ntia.doc.gov/files/ntia/mid-atlantic_swics_comments_on_ntia_rfi_6-15-2012_final.pdf.
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A. Data Collection

    Overwhelmingly, the commenters agree that FirstNet must establish a 
standardized process before the states engage in any data collection 
activities.\10\ The state commenters, in particular, point out that it 
would not be an efficient use of their resources to begin collecting 
data that might not be useful or necessary during their consultations 
with FirstNet.\11\ Many commenters provide helpful input about the data 
the states should collect and how they could best identify the assets 
and infrastructure that FirstNet might leverage for the PSBN.\12\ 
Recommended assets to identify and evaluate include existing radio 
tower sites, fiber and microwave links, and government-owned properties 
that might be suitable for new wireless infrastructure, such as 
building rooftops and water towers.\13\ Several commenters also 
recommend that FirstNet create a standard template, along with a 
standardized database, for the states to use to collect and submit 
information on asset inventories.\14\
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    \10\ See Arizona Department of Homeland Security at 9, available 
at http://www.ntia.doc.gov/files/ntia/azdohs.pdf; Carlos Delatorre 
at 9, available at http://www.ntia.doc.gov/files/ntia/carlos_delatorre_comments.pdf; National States Geographic Information 
Council (NSGIC) at 4, available at http://www.ntia.doc.gov/files/ntia/nsgic_response_061412.pdf; Michael A. Scales, available at 
http://www.ntia.doc.gov/federal-register-notice/2012/comments-development-state-and-local-implementation-grant-program?page=1#comment-29357; National Governors Association at 2, 
available at http://www.ntia.doc.gov/files/ntia/letter_to_ntia_re_state_and_local_implemenation_grant_final_signed.docx.pdf; 
National Association of State Chief Information Officers (NASCIO) at 
3, available at http://www.ntia.doc.gov/files/ntia/nascio_response_to_ntia_psbn_grant_program_final.pdf; FEMA Region 5 
Regional Emergency Communications Coordination Working Group 
(RECCWG) at 6-7, available at http://www.ntia.doc.gov/files/ntia/fema_region5_reccwg_ntia_rfi_responses_june_2012_ver7.pdf; 
Ventera at 4, available at http://www.ntia.doc.gov/files/ntia/ntia_public_comments_sligp.pdf; Commonwealth of Kentucky at 1, 
available at http://www.ntia.doc.gov/files/ntia/kybroadbandrfi.pdf; 
Rhode Island Broadband Program Director at 12, available at http://www.ntia.doc.gov/files/ntia/ntia_rfi_response_001.pdf; State of 
Utah at 5, available at http://www.ntia.doc.gov/files/ntia/state_of_utah_ntia_rfi_response_final_6-15-12.pdf; State of North 
Dakota at 5-6, available at http://www.ntia.doc.gov/files/ntia/north_dakota_firstnet_planning_rfi_response_120509050-1050-01.pdf; Raytheon at 2, available at http://www.ntia.doc.gov/files/ntia/raytheon_rfi_response_to_ntia__15-jun-12.pdf.
    \11\ See State of California at 5, available at http://www.ntia.doc.gov/files/ntia/california_state_response.pdf; State 
of South Dakota at 1, available at http://www.ntia.doc.gov/files/ntia/national_public_safety_broadband_public_comments.pdf.
    \12\ See State of South Dakota at 1; Arizona Department of 
Homeland Security at 4-5; Carlos Delatorre at 3; State of Oregon at 
1, available at http://www.ntia.doc.gov/files/ntia/oregon_rfi_comments.pdf; NSGIC at 2; State of Georgia at 1-3, available at 
http://www.ntia.doc.gov/files/ntia/state_of_georgia_response_06-14-2012.pdf; LA-RICS at 3-5; Mid-Atlantic SWICs at 9; FEMA Region 5 
RECCWG at 2, 12-13; OAC at 3-5; BayRICS at 3-4, available at http://www.ntia.doc.gov/files/ntia/bayrics_ntia_rfi_slpgp.pdf; Motorola 
Solutions at 3, 7-9; PCIA-The Wireless Infrastructure Association at 
5-6, available at http://www.ntia.doc.gov/files/ntia/ntia_state_and_local_grant_program_rfi_pcia_comments_6-15-12_final.pdf; 
Alcatel-Lucent at 5-8, available at http://www.ntia.doc.gov/files/ntia/alu_comments_on_ntia_ps_rfi.pdf; Tilson Government 
Services, LLC at 4, available at http://www.ntia.doc.gov/files/ntia/tilsonrficomments.pdf; Raytheon at 6; Connected Nation at 4, 
available at http://www.ntia.doc.gov/files/ntia/cn_letter_on_firstnet_rfi_6_15_2012_final.pdf; Northrop Grumman Information 
Systems at 2-4, available at http://www.ntia.doc.gov/files/ntia/northrop_grumman_comments.pdf; North Central Regional Broadband 
Data Consortium at 2-4, available at http://www.ntia.doc.gov/files/ntia/ncrbdc_comments.pdf.
    \13\ See Mid-Atlantic SWICs at 8; Arizona Department of Homeland 
Security at 4-5; NSGIC at 2.
    \14\ See Mid-Atlantic SWICs at 8; State of Georgia at 5; State 
of New Jersey at 5, available at http://www.ntia.doc.gov/files/ntia/new_jersey_ntia_rfi_sligp_response_6_15_2012.pdf.
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B. The Consultation Process With FirstNet

    Many commenters believe that preparing to consult effectively with 
FirstNet will require states to dedicate their already limited 
resources, specifically funds and personnel, to this task.\15\ The 
comments emphasize that effective consultations with FirstNet will 
require a significant amount of

[[Page 50483]]

planning and preparation for all stakeholders that could span several 
months, if not years.\16\ The states, in particular, observe that 
without grant funds to hire staff, conduct meetings with the various 
stakeholders, and develop the necessary governance structures, the 
states cannot consult with FirstNet in a meaningful way.\17\ Many 
commenters agree that state, local, and tribal jurisdictions lack the 
staff and/or technical ability to manage a project of this size without 
federal support.\18\
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    \15\ See State of Colorado Governor's Office of Information 
Technology at 2, available at http://www.ntia.doc.gov/files/ntia/colorado_office_of_information_technology_comments.pdf (stating 
that the collection of relevant data ``will take significant effort 
in both human and capital resources'').
    \16\ See California Emergency Management Agency at 3, available 
at http://www.ntia.doc.gov/files/ntia/california_state_response.pdf.
    \17\ See State of Nevada at 3, available at http://www.ntia.doc.gov/files/ntia/state_of_nevada_ntia_docket_no_120509050-1050-01.pdf (``Implementation and planning grants must be 
used to fund that data collection and assessment effort in addition 
to the other tasks required to establish the State's network 
requirements.''); State of Mississippi at 3, available at http://www.ntia.doc.gov/files/ntia/state_of_ms_response_to_ntia_rfi_final_6_15_12.pdf (``Grant funding should also be used to provide 
the support for dedicated state staff and consultants to develop 
essential data for FirstNet as well as funding to support outreach 
and education efforts directly related to the PSBN.'').
    \18\ See State of Georgia at 1 (``Very few, if any, States or 
locals have the staff and technical expertise to manage a project of 
this size, complexity and importance on a full time basis.''); State 
of New York at 2 (``Many states lack the state and local resources 
to collect this data.''); State of North Dakota at 1-2 (grant funds 
should be available for staffing requirements and planning 
activities).
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    NTIA agrees that FirstNet is in the best position to develop 
standards for the collection of data on assets and infrastructure that 
might be used or incorporated into the PSBN.\19\ As a result, NTIA 
believes that it would not be a prudent use of grant funds to allow the 
states to undertake data gathering and collection activities, such as 
asset inventories, before FirstNet has developed guidance on the 
information it will need. Additionally, NTIA understands that 
coordination with FirstNet will involve a substantial amount of time 
and planning and many states face significant resource constraints, 
particularly with staffing levels, to participate effectively in this 
effort.\20\
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    \19\ See Commonwealth of Massachusetts at 4, available athttp://
www.ntia.doc.gov/files/ntia/mass_eopss_final_june_14_2012-2.pdf; State of Oregon at 5-6; State of Georgia at 5; APCO 
International at 5, available at http://www.ntia.doc.gov/files/ntia/apco_comments_on_ntia_rfi.pdf; LA-RICS at 9; State of Montana at 
3, available at http://www.ntia.doc.gov/files/ntia/montana_response_ntia_npsbn_rfi_061412.pdf; OAC at 10; State of Nevada 
at 2-3; State of Colorado Governor's Office of Information 
Technology at 2.
    \20\ See South Dakota Bureau of Information & Telecommunications 
at 1, available at http://www.ntia.doc.gov/files/ntia/national_public_safety_broadband_public_comments.pdf.
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    Based in large part on this feedback, and in keeping with the 
intent of the Act, NTIA believes that, given the funds available and 
the need for FirstNet to make initial decisions on the data collection 
process, it can make the most efficient and effective use of grant 
dollars by focusing the State and Local Implementation Grant Program on 
planning and development activities in preparation for consultations 
with FirstNet.\21\
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    \21\ See 47 U.S.C. 1442(a).
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III. Establishment of Programmatic Requirements for the State and Local 
Implementation Grant Program

A. Funding Distribution

    Consistent with the statutory framework, NTIA plans to design the 
State and Local Implementation Grant Program as a formula-based, 
matching grant program to assist states, in collaboration with 
regional, tribal, and local jurisdictions, with activities related to 
planning for the establishment of a nationwide public safety broadband 
network.\22\ NTIA is not announcing procedures for the submission of 
grant applications in this Notice nor is it accepting applications at 
this time. NTIA intends to release a Federal Funding Opportunity (FFO) 
notice that will provide information on topics including: The amount of 
funding available for award and how NTIA will allocate funds to 
applicants, instructions on the application process, and the evaluation 
criteria for application review. Subject to activities of FirstNet, 
NTIA expects to issue a FFO and open the application window during the 
first quarter of calendar year 2013. This time frame will allow NTIA to 
complete the administrative functions it must undertake to prepare to 
award grants under this program.
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    \22\ See id.
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    NTIA plans to distribute the funding available under this grant 
program in two phases, and will consider the input solicited through 
the RFI to develop a methodology to distribute the available funds.\23\ 
The commenters suggest numerous factors as relevant to allocating these 
funds, including: Population; \24\ population density; \25\ land mass; 
\26\ geography and topography; \27\ risk, threat, and vulnerability; 
\28\ probability of disaster; \29\ expected level of effort required 
for completion; \30\ existing critical infrastructure; \31\ number of 
highway miles; \32\ demand and marketing components; \33\ number of 
regional/local/tribal governmental entities using the network; \34\ 
number of first responders using the network; \35\ effective signal 
propagation; \36\ amount of uncovered rural broadband customers; \37\ 
prioritization of rural areas; \38\ areas with backhaul deficiencies; 
\39\ length of international borders; \40\ and amount of tribal 
lands.\41\ Additionally, some commenters propose that NTIA provide each 
state with an initial, equal distribution of funds to enable the states 
to accomplish certain planning tasks.\42\ NTIA will take this input 
into account and consider those factors that can be quantified in 
developing the formula it will use to allocate the available grant 
funds among eligible applicants. NTIA will announce this formula when 
it issues the FFO.
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    \23\ See RFI, 77 FR at 28859.
    \24\  See State of Georgia at 12; LA-RICS at 20; State of New 
York at 10.
    \25\  See Commonwealth of Massachusetts at 12; USDA-Rural 
Utilities Service (USDA-RUS), available at http://www.ntia.doc.gov/federal-register-notice/2012/comments-development-state-and-local-implementation-grant-program#comment-29426.
    \26\  See State of South Dakota at 5.
    \27\ See State of Oregon at 16; State of Montana at 8; State of 
Maine at 3, available at http://www.ntia.doc.gov/files/ntia/firstnetrfiresponse.pdf; Florida at 18, available at http://www.ntia.doc.gov/files/ntia/florida_response_to_ntia_rfi_state_and_local_implementation_grant.pdf; Tilson Government 
Services, LLC at 11.
    \28\  See Arizona Department of Homeland Security at 15; State 
of Georgia at 12; BayRICS at 12-13.
    \29\  See State of Texas at 13.
    \30\ See Carlos Delatorre at 18-19; Florida at 18; State of 
North Dakota at 13; Washington State Interoperability Executive 
Committee at 4, available at http://www.ntia.doc.gov/files/ntia/wa_siec_response_to_ntia_rfi_06152012.pdf.
    \31\ See State of Georgia at 12; State of Maine at 3; FEMA 
Region 5 RECCWG at 15; North Central Regional Broadband Data 
Consortium at 13-14.
    \32\ See State of Nevada at 6-7; State of Utah at 14; State of 
Mississippi at 20.
    \33\ See APCO International at 7.
    \34\ See Mid-Atlantic SWICs at 11; Florida at 18; OAC at 22.
    \35\ See FEMA Region 5 RECCWG at 15; OAC at 22.
    \36\ See State of Maine at 3.
    \37\ See State of Nevada at 7; State of Mississippi at 20.
    \38\ See Mendocino County, California at 3, available at http://www.ntia.doc.gov/files/ntia/mendocinocommentsonntiafirstnetrfi.pdf.
    \39\ See State of Utah at 14.
    \40\ See State of Texas at 14; State of North Dakota at 13; 
Washington State Interoperability Executive Committee at 3.
    \41\ See State of North Dakota at 13.
    \42\ See, e.g., Commonwealth of Massachusetts at 2, 4 (proposing 
that NTIA give each state $500,000 to establish and operate a Public 
Safety Broadband office).
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B. Eligible Applicants

    The 56 states and territories are eligible for grants under the 
State and Local Implementation Grant Program. The Act directs NTIA to 
make grants to states; thus, each state and territory choosing to apply 
for a grant should

[[Page 50484]]

submit an individual application during the application window. An 
applicant may decide, however, to collaborate or coordinate with other 
states and regions in preparing application submissions, as is 
contemplated in the statute.\43\
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    \43\ 47 U.S.C. 1442(a).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    NTIA will specify in the FFO the exact contents of the application 
package that applicants must submit during the application window. 
There are several items, however, that NTIA will likely require, and 
applicants may prepare to address them in advance of the FFO's 
publication. First, the Act directs each state to certify in its 
application for grant funds that the state has designated a single 
officer or governmental body to serve as the coordinator of the grant 
funds.\44\ This designated officer or governmental body will also be 
responsible for determining the method of consultation between FirstNet 
and the state.\45\ Multiple commenters urge NTIA to give the states 
flexibility in making this decision.\46\ Commenters point out that 
states are best equipped to identify the most appropriate office or 
governmental body suited to this task, which may vary from state to 
state, as well as the personnel qualified to act in this capacity.\47\ 
Accordingly, NTIA will give states flexibility in determining which 
state officer or governmental body to designate as the coordinator of 
the grant funds.
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    \44\ 47 U.S.C. 1442(d).
    \45\ 47 U.S.C. 1426(c)(2)(B).
    \46\ See State of Oregon at 2; State of California at 3; 
Nebraska at 2, available at http://www.ntia.doc.gov/files/ntia/1399_001.pdf; Florida at 4.
    \47\ See Minnesota at 4, available at http://www.ntia.doc.gov/files/ntia/ecn_ntia_rfi_grant_filing_06_15_2012_d4_final.pdf; State of New York at 3; State of Hawaii at 5-6, available 
at http://www.ntia.doc.gov/files/ntia/state_of_hawaii_sligp_rfi_response.pdf; State of Georgia at 3; State of Texas at 2-3.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Second, in response to concerns expressed by some commenters and 
consistent with the intent of the statute, NTIA will likely ask 
applicants to describe how they plan to collect input from local and 
tribal jurisdictions to ensure that their public safety needs are 
adequately represented during the consultation process with FirstNet 
and in the coordination of the grant funds.\48\
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    \48\ See 47 U.S.C. 1442(a); see also National Congress of 
American Indians at 2-3, available at http://www.ntia.doc.gov/files/ntia/ncai_comments_on_sligp_06152012f.pdf (NTIA and FirstNet 
must ``institute rules and reporting requirements to ensure that 
tribal governments are included in the planning and implementation 
process''); NASCIO at 2-3 (``The State and Local Implementation 
grant program should encourage states to leverage all pre-existing 
relationships to ensure coordination and input into the planning 
process.''); State of Alaska at 1, available at http://www.ntia.doc.gov/files/ntia/state_of_alaska_response_to_ntia_rfi.pdf (``Any mechanisms that mandate involvement of federal, 
local, and tribal users would not be unreasonable to the degree that 
involvement levels could be determined by the states.''); New Mexico 
Department of Information Technology at 3, available at http://www.ntia.doc.gov/files/ntia/rfi_response_final_15jun12.pdf 
(suggesting each state ``provide a plan for ensuring inclusion of 
local and tribal entities via aggregate structure''); LA-RICS at 6 
(``NTIA should allow each State to determine the best method for 
undertaking [involving tribal entities] and include a description 
and plan in its grant application.''); Commonwealth of Massachusetts 
at 2-3 (saying that it should be a stipulation for funding that 
``the responsible state governing body ensures that local and tribal 
(if applicable) participation in the planning process is present''); 
APCO International at 1 (``[S]tates must place the highest priority 
on establishing or enhancing governance structures that ensure 
adequate representation of local jurisdictions in their respective 
[S]tates.'').
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    Third, NTIA requested comment on how the existing public safety 
governance and planning authorities in each state might be incorporated 
into the consultations with FirstNet about the PSBN.\49\ While each 
state may be at different stages in their development of their public 
safety governance structures, the commenters generally agree that the 
states should use established governing bodies in the PSBN 
consultations.\50\ Because the governance structures tend to vary from 
state to state, NTIA will likely ask the states to discuss how they 
will leverage their existing governance structures in the PSBN 
consultations. Finally, because these public safety governance 
structures have traditionally focused solely on interoperable Land 
Mobile Radio (LMR) voice communications, NTIA anticipates asking 
applicants to describe how they intend to expand the expertise of their 
governance structures to include representatives with an understanding 
of broadband and Long Term Evolution (LTE) technology to facilitate 
their consultations with FirstNet.
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    \49\ RFI, 77 FR at 28858-59.
    \50\ See State of Montana at 3-4 (``[T]o facilitate the planning 
and deployment [of the PSBN,] an already established governing body 
and governance structure in each individual [S]tate should be 
utilized.''); FEMA Region 5 RECCWG at 3 (``[T]here is no need to 
establish a new governance structure, even though there is now a new 
technology to govern,'' since the governance structures in place or 
being developed should already include representatives of multiple 
disciplines as well as local and tribal responders.); Florida at 7-8 
(finding that even though the underlying technology is changing, the 
mission of the Interoperability Governing Bodies (IGBs) remains, and 
therefore, ``existing IGBs should continue to have principle [sic] 
responsibility for interoperability within the NPSBN''); Minnesota 
at 8 (``[E]xisting IGBs should continue to have principle [sic] 
responsibility for interoperability within the NPSBN.''); New Mexico 
Department of Information Technology at 5-6 (stating that the 
current governance structures can and should be considered for use 
with the PSBN); Montgomery County, Maryland at 6, available at 
http://www.ntia.doc.gov/files/ntia/comments-montgomerycountymd.pdf 
(emphasizing that existing public safety governance and planning 
authorities' voices must be heard in the program).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

C. Allowable Grant Activities

    The State and Local Implementation Grant Program will support 
activities related to planning for the establishment of the nationwide 
PSBN. NTIA received detailed input from the majority of commenters 
regarding the types of activities that it should allow under the grant 
program to accomplish this objective.\51\ Some of the activities that 
commenters identify include ensuring that states have an appropriate 
framework in place to consult with FirstNet,\52\ developing and 
managing personnel/administrative positions,\53\ conducting 
meetings,\54\ arranging travel,\55\ and providing public outreach and 
education as well as internal training.\56\ Commenters further note 
that some states may need to work with their legal teams to evaluate 
any potential local legal barriers, negotiate necessary agreements, and 
develop standard Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs) to govern access to 
assets and infrastructure that may used in the PSBN.\57\
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    \51\ See RFI, 77 Fed. Reg. at 28859.
    \52\ Section 6206(c)(2)(A) of the Act directs FirstNet to 
consult with regional, state, tribal, and local jurisdictions about 
the distribution and expenditure of any amounts required to carry 
out the network policies that it is charged with establishing, 
including (i) construction of a core network and any radio access 
network build-out; (ii) placement of towers; (iii) coverage areas of 
the network, whether at the regional, state, tribal, or local level; 
(iv) adequacy of hardware, security, reliability, and resiliency 
requirements; (v) assignment of priority to local users; (vi) 
assignment of priority and selection of entities seeking access to 
or use of the nationwide public safety interoperable broadband 
network; and (vii) training needs of local users. 47 U.S.C. 
1426(c)(2)(A).
    \53\ See State of South Dakota at 4; Arizona Department of 
Homeland Security at 13; State of Oregon at 12; State of California 
at 8; APCO International at 6; LA-RICS at 17; Anjee Toothaker at 2, 
available at http://www.ntia.doc.gov/files/ntia/june_15_2012_ltr_to_natl_telecomm_and_info_admin.pdf; FEMA Region 5 RECCWG 
at 12; Florida at 14; State of North Carolina at 5, available at 
http://www.ntia.doc.gov/files/ntia/ntia_rfi_comments_by_north_carolina.pdf; Dr. Michael Myers at 14, available at http://www.ntia.doc.gov/files/ntia/meyers_rfi_response.pdf.
    \54\ See LA-RICS at 17; Mid-Atlantic SWICs at 10-11; State of 
Montana at 6; Commonwealth of Kentucky at 2; State of New York at 7; 
Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe 911 at 3, available at http://www.ntia.doc.gov/files/ntia/ntia_rfi_comments_from_crst_911_corp_v2.pdf; State of Texas at 11.
    \55\ See Carlos Delatorre at 15; Michael A. Scales; State of 
Utah at 11; State of Mississippi at 16; National Congress of 
American Indians at 6.
    \56\ See State of Oregon at 12; State of California at 8; 
Commonwealth of Massachusetts at 9; State of Georgia at 9; Florida 
at 15.
    \57\ See NACo, NLC, USCM & NATOA at 3, available at http://www.ntia.doc.gov/files/ntia/response_to_rfi_on_grant_structure_final.pdf; State of South Dakota at 3; State of 
California at 1-2; LA-RICS at 5; State of New Jersey at 4; State of 
Nevada at 4; State of Texas at 12.

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[[Page 50485]]

    NTIA anticipates structuring the State and Local Implementation 
Grant Program into two phases of funding for planning activities. The 
first phase will focus on initial planning and consultation activities, 
including strategy and timeline development, meetings, governance 
planning, and outreach and education efforts. The second phase will not 
begin until FirstNet has consulted with the state-designated contact 
about the matters listed in the Act, including defining coverage needs, 
user requirements, and network hardening and resiliency 
requirements.\58\ The second funding phase will address states' needs 
in preparing for additional consultation with FirstNet and planning to 
undertake data collection activities.
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    \58\ 47 U.S.C. 1426(c)(2)(A).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    NTIA will detail the full scope of allowable activities under the 
grant program in the FFO; however, NTIA will likely require recipients 
to show that they have accomplished the following activities by the end 
of the grant period of performance: (1) Established a governance 
structure, or expanded existing structures, to consult with FirstNet; 
(2) developed procedures to ensure local and tribal representation and 
participation in the consultation process with FirstNet; (3) created a 
process for education and outreach, through program development or 
through other efforts, among local and tribal officials, public safety 
users, and other stakeholders about the nationwide public safety 
broadband network; (4) identified potential public safety users of the 
public safety broadband network; (5) developed standard MOUs to 
facilitate the use of existing infrastructure, or identified the legal 
barriers to creating standard MOUs and described potential remedies; 
and (6) developed staffing plans that include local and tribal 
representation to participate in the public safety governance structure 
and to prepare for data collection activities in consultation with 
FirstNet. NTIA also will consider having grant recipients prepare a 
comprehensive plan, similar in concept to their existing Statewide 
Interoperability Communications Plans (SICPs), describing the public 
safety needs that they expect FirstNet to address in its design of the 
nationwide PSBN, as well as how they intend to satisfy each of the 
elements enumerated above, including milestones that demonstrate their 
progress.
    If sufficient funds are available, NTIA may permit grant recipients 
that have satisfactorily completed the milestones associated with these 
initial planning requirements to use funds for supplemental activities 
related to preparing for any FirstNet data collections, such as 
determining staffing levels to dedicate to these tasks, designating a 
state point of contact for data collection, where appropriate, and 
evaluating the feasibility of using public/private partnerships. At 
present, NTIA does not expect to include the compiling of asset and 
infrastructure inventories as an allowable activity until FirstNet has 
developed a standardized process to govern data collection activities.

D. Funding Restrictions--Eligible and Ineligible Costs

    Grantees may only use funds awarded under the State and Local 
Implementation Grant Program to pay eligible costs. Eligible costs are 
consistent with the cost principles identified in the applicable Office 
of Management and Budget (OMB) circulars \59\ and in the grant 
program's authorizing legislation.
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    \59\ Allowable costs are determined in accordance with the cost 
principles applicable to the entity incurring the costs. For 
example, the allowability of costs incurred by State, local or 
federally-recognized Indian tribal governments is determined in 
accordance with the provisions of OMB Circular A-87, ``Cost 
Principles for State, Local and Indian Tribal Governments,'' 2 CFR 
Part 225.
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    Based on input received from multiple commenters, eligible costs 
under the planning grant program will likely include the following 
categories of expenses:
    1. Hiring staff and consultants required for the planning process 
(such as project managers, program directors, engineers, grant 
administrators, financial analysts, accountants, and attorneys);
    2. Holding planning meetings with state agencies, local and tribal 
stakeholders, and regional partners;
    3. Covering travel costs for state, local, and tribal 
representatives to attend planning meetings (such as preparing for 
FirstNet consultations and attending state, regional, and national 
meetings that address public safety broadband issues);
    4. Developing, modifying, or enhancing state plans and governance 
structures, including efforts to adapt existing public safety 
governance authorities, such as the Statewide Interoperability 
Coordinators (SWIC), Statewide Interoperability Executive Committees 
(SIEC), and Statewide Interoperability Governing Bodies (SIGB), to 
include public safety broadband stakeholders and expertise, and 
determining the role of the state Chief Information Officers (CIO), 
Chief Technology Officers (CTO), or Chief Budget Officers (CBO);
    5. Conducting communications, education, and outreach activities 
with state, local, tribal, and regional stakeholders;
    6. Developing standardized MOUs and other types of agreements to 
facilitate access to and use of existing infrastructure;
    7. Identifying potential public safety users for the public safety 
broadband network;
    8. Administrative services and supplies necessary to prepare for 
and manage the grant program;
    9. Legal services related to the planning process; and
    10. Training costs related to the planning process.
    NTIA does not envision allowing funds awarded under the State and 
Local Implementation Grant Program to be used for activities related to 
site preparation, broadband deployment, installation, construction, or 
the acquisition of equipment used to provide wireless broadband 
services, including LTE-related activities.

E. Rural Coverage Prioritization

    The Act provides that the State and Local Implementation Grant 
Program shall include requirements to prioritize grants for activities 
that ensure coverage in rural as well as urban areas.\60\ Some 
commenters note that states with a higher percentage of rural areas may 
face unique challenges; thus, designing a one-size-fits-all approach to 
ensuring rural coverage may not be appropriate for all 
circumstances.\61\
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    \60\ 47 U.S.C. 1442(c).
    \61\ See State of South Dakota at 4; State of Georgia at 10; 
Arizona Department of Homeland Security at 13-14.
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    In designing the formula that it will use to allocate funds under 
the grant program, NTIA intends to avoid a solely population-based 
approach and will consider additional factors that affect rural 
coverage. Additionally, NTIA agrees that the states will need 
flexibility in determining the most effective means by which FirstNet 
can provide adequate rural coverage. While the FFO will describe in 
detail the exact contents of the application package, NTIA anticipates 
having the states address how they will prioritize their grant 
activities to ensure coverage in rural areas, including providing 
specific plans and metrics to demonstrate how they will achieve these 
requirements.\62\
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    \62\ See State of Mississippi at 17; OAC at 20-21.

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[[Page 50486]]

F. NTIA Consultations With FirstNet on the State and Local 
Implementation Grant Program Requirements

    As previously discussed, the Act directs NTIA to consult with 
FirstNet to establish the requirements of the State and Local 
Implementation Grant Program not later than 6 months after the date of 
the Act's enactment, or by August 22, 2012. The Act also required that 
FirstNet be established no later than August 20, 2012. The Act's 
framework, which essentially placed the creation of FirstNet and the 
development of the grant program requirements on parallel tracks, 
proved challenging for NTIA as it attempted to fulfill the statutory 
mandate to consult with FirstNet in establishing the State and Local 
Implementation Grant Program. As noted, NTIA has only started to 
consult with the newly-formed FirstNet Board on the grant program 
requirements outlined in this Notice. NTIA expects these consultations 
to proceed over the next few months as NTIA continues to prepare the 
FFO in which the State and Local Implementation Grant Program 
requirements will be described more fully.

    Dated: August 16, 2012.
Lawrence E. Strickling,
Assistant Secretary for Communications and Information.
[FR Doc. 2012-20502 Filed 8-20-12; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3510-60-P