Public Telecommunications Facilities Program (PTFP) Announces FY2009 Grant Round: Deadline Dec. 18, 2008

The PTFP has just announced that Dec. 18, 2008 is the deadline for applications to receive funds through its FY2009 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 at, (202) 482-2141 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.  Chris.

Public Telecommunications Facilities Program (PTFP)
National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA)
Department of Commerce

Application Deadline: Dec. 18, 2008, 5:00pm eastern time

The Public Telecommunications Facilities Program (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.

Since 1979, NTIA has funded nonbroadcast distance learning projects for innovative or unique distance learning projects which address demonstrated and substantial community needs. For fiscal year 2008, NTIA awarded $377,984 in funds to three grantees for distance learning projects. The awards ranged from $89,853 to $187,931.

The growth of digital technologies provides new opportunities for distance learning projects using both broadcast and nonbroadcast facilities. NTIA encourages applicants to consider the use of digital technologies in proposing unique or innovative distance learning projects for funding in FY 2009. Examples of innovative digital applications include projects (1) which use broadband technologies for distance learning, (2) which distribute educational or informational programming via direct broadcast satellite technologies, (3) which provide multi-media content using the digital television transmission infrastructure and delivered through a method that is not a typical broadcast channel, or (4) which incorporate video, voice, graphics and data capabilities for online distance learning services. NTIA also encourages applicants to consider broadcast projects which use the multi-channel capacity of digital television to provide innovative distance learning projects.

All distance learning applications must address substantial and demonstrated needs of the communities being served. NTIA is particularly interested in distance learning projects which benefit traditionally underserved audiences, such as projects serving minorities, people living in rural communities, or those living in disadvantaged areas where distance learning services will provide significant educational opportunities.

Amount to be Awarded: Subject to the availability of FY 2009 funds. Cost sharing is required.

Eligible applicants 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.

For more information contact: Robert Sestili, (202) 482-2141

Public Telecommunications Facilities Program (PTFP) Announces FY2009 Grant Round: Deadline Dec. 18, 2008