Public Telecommunications Facilities Program (PTFP)
Department of Commerce
National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA)
The PTFP has just announced that April 6, 2007 is the deadline for applications to receive funds through its FY2007 grant round. This grant program has helped many ITC members purchase the equipment they needed to construct or expand their distance learning programs (most through the non-broadcast technologies category). I encourage you to contact Bob Sestili if you have any questions or would like to run an idea by him to see if he thinks your program could receive funding through PTFP.
Federal Register Announcement: 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.
Application Deadline: Friday, April 6, 2007 at 5 p.m. eastern time
Funding Availability: The Congress has appropriated $20 million for FY 2007 PTFP awards. During FY 2006, PTFP awarded $19.7 million to 95 projects: 31 digital television conversion grants awarding $12.3 million, eight television equipment replacement grants awarding $1,126,743 to replace urgently needed equipment, nine digital radio conversion grants awarding $604,237, 40 radio service expansion or equipment replacement grants awarding $4.4 million, and five nonbroadcast distance learning grants awarding $740,169. The nonbroadcast awards ranged from $67,455 to $499,440.
Eligibility: 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.
Cost Sharing Requirements: PTFP requires cost sharing. By statute, PTFP cannot fund a construction project for more than 75 percent of the eligible project costs. NTIA has established a policy of funding most new public broadcasting station activation projects at a 75 percent federal share, and most other television, radio and nonbroadcast projects at a 50 percent federal share. NTIA can fund planning applications up to 100 percent of the eligible project costs, but has established a policy of funding planning applications at a 75 percent share. Any applicant can request federal funding greater than PTFP’s policy, up to the statutory maximum, and provide justification for the request.
For more information: Robert Sestili, Senior Program Officer, 202-482-5802, Fax: 202-482-2156, firstname.lastname@example.org
2006 PTFP Distance Learning Awards
Chipola College , Distance Learning Department, Marianna , FL
A planning project to explore the feasibility of potential technologies for establishing a distance learning system among Chipola College and universities, colleges, and school systems in a five-county area of the Florida panhandle. Federal amount $67,455, total project cost $93,428.
University of Hawaii at Manoa, Social Science Research Institute, Honolulu , HI
A project to support the continued operations of the headquarters and network operations center of PEACESAT for its satellite interconnection system through the GOES-7 satellite for educational and medical services to the 22 Pacific Island nations/entities participating in the project. federal amount $499,440, total project cost $546,819.
Prince George ‘s Community College, Largo , MD
A project to extend a distance learning service among three Prince George ‘s Community College extension center sites and interactive online systems by purchasing equipment that includes videoconferencing units, a server, a media management system, and codecs. Federal amount $69,246, total project cost $138,493.
Ideastream, Educational Services, Cleveland , OH
A project to extend the capability of a distance learning service through the Idea Center to school districts, educators, and the general public in Northeast Ohio and potentially throughout the state, by purchasing equipment that includes IP videoconferencing systems, a multipoint control unit, routing switchers, white boards, projectors and display units. Federal amount $230,432, total project cost $576,080.
Southwestern Oregon Community College , Coos Bay , OR
A project to extend a distance learning network along Oregon’s southern coast, among Southwestern Oregon Community College (SOCC), Coos Bay, an educational service district hub, five rural high schools, a hospital, and the SOCC campus in Brookings, by purchasing videoconferencing units, cameras, recorders/players, projectors, routers, and network switches. Federal amount $119,254, total project cost $238,508.
Pennsylvania Public Television Network, PPTN, Hershey , PA
A project to use a portion of the digital transmission and distribution stream to complete a statewide distance learning datacast system by purchasing datacast equipment for the Pennsylvania Public Television Network operations center and five of its eight member stations. Federal amount $253,782, total project cost $507,564.