NTIA: FirstNet grant criteria coming in early 2013
Federal requirements for state and local participation in a $135 million grant program that will support rollout of the national broadband public safety network should be finalized in the coming months, says the National Telecommunications and Information Administration.
The organization charged with creation of the network, the First Responder Network Authority, or FirstNet, is an autonomous agency residing within the NTIA. In a Dec. 27 blog post discussing anticipated 2013 developments, deputy NTIA head Anna Gomez said the grant criteria should be issued "early next year."
Creation of the network is to be funded through $7 billion taken from the proceeds of Federal Communications Commission-managed spectrum license auctions. In 2011, the Obama administration called for 500 megahertz of federally licensed spectrum to be auctioned to the private sector; in July 2012, the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology recommended that another 1,000 MHz of federal spectrum be made available to the private sector through sharing agreements with the government.