NTIA Announces $135M in Grants for First Responder Net Planning

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The National Telecommunications and Information Administration will provide local governments $135 million in funds to help carry out the planning stage of a nationwide first responder communications network, Emergency Management reports.

NTIA will distribute funding based on on population, land mass, geography and topography, risk threat and expected level of effort, according to the report.

Citing a Federal Register notice, the website reports several municipalities cited limited staff and resources as challenges in implementing the network.

Governments will use the funds to collect data on assets and equipment that could be used as part of the network, according to the report.

NTIA funds will not cover costs of building and developing the network.

Only Harris County, N.C. and Charlotte, NC have met the interoperability requirements to operate the network, the report says.

The agency recently appointed the FirstNet board, consisting of several communications executives in the public and private sectors, to oversee the development and operations of the network.

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