National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), Commerce.
Notice of availability of funds.
Pursuant to the Science, State, Justice, Commerce, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2006, Pub. L. 109-108, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), U.S. Department of Commerce, announces the solicitation of applications for planning and construction grants for public telecommunications facilities under the Public Telecommunications Facilities Program (PTFP). The PTFP assists, through matching grants, in the planning and construction of public telecommunications facilities in order to: (1) Extend delivery of services to as many citizens as possible by the most cost-effective means, including use of broadcast and non-broadcast technologies; (2) increase public telecommunications services and facilities available to, operated by, and controlled by minorities and women; (3) strengthen the capability of existing public television and radio stations to provide public telecommunications services to the public.
Applications must be received prior to 5 p.m. Eastern Standard Time (Closing Time), February 7, 2006 (Closing Date). Applications submitted by facsimile or electronic means are not acceptable. If an application is received after the Closing Date due to (1) carrier error, when the carrier accepted the package with a guarantee for delivery by the Closing Date and Closing Time, (2) significant weather delays or natural disasters, or (3) delays due to national security issues, NTIA will, upon receipt of proper documentation, consider the application as having been received by the deadline. NTIA will not accept applications posted on the Closing Date or later and received after this deadline.
To obtain a printed application package, submit completed applications, or send any other correspondence, write to PTFP at the following address (please note the new room number): NTIA/PTFP, Room H-4096, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 20230. Application materials may be obtained electronically via the Internet (http://www.ntia.doc.gov/ptfp).Start Further Info
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:
William Cooperman, Director, Public Broadcasting Division, telephone: (202) 482-5802; fax: (202) 482-2156. Information about the PTFP can also be obtained electronically via the Internet (http://www.ntia.doc.gov/ptfp).End Further Info End Preamble Start Supplemental Information
The full funding opportunity announcement for the PTFP FY 2006 grant cycle is available through www.Grants.gov or by contacting the PTFP office at the address noted above.
The Congress has appropriated $20 million for FY 2006 PTFP awards. For FY 2005, NTIA awarded $21.2 million in PTFP funds to 123 projects, including 73 radio awards, 39 television awards and 11 nonbroadcast awards. The radio awards ranged from $9,255 to $451,848. The television awards ranged from $11,298 to $927,937. The nonbroadcast awards ranged from $30,495 to $440,000.
Statutory and Regulatory Authority
The Public Telecommunications Facilities Program is authorized by the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, 47 U.S.C. 390-393, 397-399(b). The PTFP operates pursuant to rules (1996 Rules) which were published on November 8, 1996 (61 FR 57966). Copies of the 1996 Rules (15 CFR Part 2301) are posted on the NTIA Internet site at www.ntia.doc.gov/Rules/currentrules.htm and NTIA will make printed copies available to applicants upon request.
The following supplemental policies will also be in effect:
(A) Applicants may file emergency applications at any time.
(B) Applicants may file requests for Federal Communications Commission (FCC) authorizations with the FCC after the PTFP Closing Date. Grant applicants for Ku-band satellite uplinks may submit FCC applications after a PTFP award is made. NTIA may accept FCC authorizations that are in the name of an organization other than the PTFP applicant.
(C) PTFP applicants are not required to submit copies of their PTFP applications to the FCC, nor are they required to submit copies of the FCC transmittal cover letters as part of their PTFP applications. PTFP applicants for distance learning projects must notify the state telecommunications agencies in the states in which they are located but are not required to notify every state telecommunications agency in a potential service area.
(D) For digital television conversion projects, NTIA has created two new Subpriorities in the Broadcast Other category.
(E) For digital radio conversion projects, NTIA has created a new Subpriority in the Broadcast Other category.
Catalog of Domestic Federal Assistance: 11.550, Public Telecommunications Facilities Program.
To apply for and receive a PTFP Construction Grant or Planning Grant, an applicant must be: (a) A public or noncommercial educational broadcast station; (b) a noncommercial telecommunications entity; (c) a system of public telecommunications entities; (d) a non-profit foundation, corporation, institution, or association organized primarily for educational or cultural purposes; or (e) a state, local, or Indian tribal government (or agency thereof), or a political or special purpose subdivision of a state.
Evaluation and Selection Process
See 15 CFR 2301.17 for a full description of the Evaluation Criteria. The six evaluation criteria are (1) Applicant Qualifications, (2) Financial Qualifications, (3) Project Objectives, (4) Urgency, (5) Technical Qualifications (construction applicants only) or Planning Qualifications (planning applicants only), and (6) Special Consideration.
Funding Priorities and Selection Factors
Cost Sharing Requirements
PTFP requires cost sharing. By statute, PTFP cannot fund a construction project for more than 75% of the eligible project Start Printed Page 73738costs. NTIA has established a policy of funding most new public broadcasting station activation projects at a 75% federal share, and most other television, radio and nonbroadcast projects at a 50% federal share. NTIA can fund planning applications up to 100% of the eligible project costs, but has established a policy of funding planning applications at a 75% share. Any applicant can request federal funding greater than PTFP's policy, up to the statutory maximum, and provide justification for the request.
PTFP applications are subject to Executive Order 12372, “Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs,” if the state in which the applicant organization is located participates in the process. Usually submission to the State Single Point of Contact (SPOC) needs to be only the first two pages of the PTFP application form, but applicants should contact their own SPOC offices to find out about and comply with its requirements. The names and addresses of the SPOC offices are listed on the PTFP website and at the Office of Management and Budget's home page at http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/grants/spoc.html.
All applicants (nonprofit, state, local government, universities, and tribal organizations) will be required to provide a Dun and Bradstreet Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number during the application process. See the October 30, 2002 (67 FR 66177) and April 8, 2003 (68 FR 17000) Federal Register notices for additional information. Organizations can receive a DUNS number at no cost by calling the dedicated toll-free DUNS Number request line 1-866-705-5711 or via the Internet (www.dunandbradstreet.com).
The Department of Commerce Pre-Award Notification Requirements for Grants and Cooperative Agreements
The Department of Commerce Pre-Award Notification of Requirements for Grants and Cooperative Agreements contained in the Federal Register notice of December 30, 2004 (69 FR 78389) is applicable to this solicitation.
Limitation of Liability
In no event will the Department of Commerce be responsible for proposal preparation costs if this program fails to receive funding or is cancelled because of other agency priorities. Publication of this announcement does not obligate the agency to award any specific project or to obligate any available funds.
Paperwork Reduction Act
Notwithstanding any other provision of the law, no person is required to respond to, nor shall any person be subject to a penalty for failure to comply with, a collection of information subject to the requirements of the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA), unless that collection displays a currently valid Office of Management and Budget (OMB) control number. The PTFP application form has been cleared under OMB Control No. 0660-0003.
It has been determined that this notice does not contain policies with Federalism implications as that term is defined in Executive Order 13132.
Administrative Procedure Act/Regulatory Flexibility Act
Prior notice and opportunity for public comment are not required by the Administrative Procedure Act or any other law for this rule concerning grants, benefits, and contracts (5 U.S.C. 553(a)(2). Because notice and opportunity for comment are not required pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553 or any other law, the analytical requirements of the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.) are inapplicable. Therefore, a regulatory flexibility analysis has not been prepared.Start Signature
Associate Administrator, Office of Telecommunications and Information Applications.
[FR Doc. 05-23992 Filed 12-12-05; 8:45 am]
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