[Federal Register Volume 74, Number 230 (Wednesday, December 2, 2009)]
[Pages 63120-63122]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E9-28738]



National Telecommunications and Information Administration

[Docket No. 0911201414-91414-01]

Public Telecommunications Facilities Program: Closing Date; 
Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance

AGENCY: National Telecommunications and Information Administration, 
U.S. Department of Commerce.

ACTION: Notice of Closing Date for Solicitation of Applications.


SUMMARY: Pursuant to the Further Continuing Appropriations, 2010, 
Division B of Pub. L. No. 111-88, 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) for fiscal year 
(FY) 2010.

DATES: NTIA announces two Closing Dates for the FY 2010 grant round.
    All television and nonbroadcast applications must be received at 
the PTFP office no later than 5:00 p.m., Eastern Standard Time, on 
February 4, 2010. With the exception of applications for new FM 
stations filed during the February 2010 Federal Communications 
Commission (FCC) FM Window, discussed in the next paragraph, all

[[Page 63121]]

radio applications also must be received at the PTFP office no later 
than 5:00 p.m., Eastern Standard Time, on February 4, 2010.
    Because the FCC will accept applications for new FM facilities only 
during the period February 19-26, 2010 (``FM Window''), NTIA will 
provide sufficient time for FM applicants participating in the FM 
Window to file their PTFP and FCC applications. Completed PTFP 
applications for projects filed at the FCC during this FM Window must 
be received at the PTFP office no later than 5:00 p.m., Eastern 
Standard Time, on February 26, 2010.
    Applications submitted by facsimile 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 these deadlines.

ADDRESSES: To obtain a printed application package, submit completed 
applications, or send any other correspondence, write to PTFP at the 
following address: NTIA/PTFP, Room H-4812, U.S. Department of Commerce, 
1401 Constitution Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20230. Application 
materials may be obtained electronically via the Internet at 
www.ntia.doc.gov/ptfp or www.Grants.gov.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: William Cooperman, Director, Public 
Broadcasting Division, telephone: (202) 482-5802; fax: (202) 482-2156. 
Information about the PTFP also can be obtained electronically via the 
Internet at www.ntia.doc.gov/ptfp.


Electronic Access

    The Federal Funding Opportunity (FFO) announcement for the PTFP FY 
2010 grant cycle is available through www.Grants.gov or by viewing the 
PTFP Internet site at www.ntia.doc.gov/ptfp. Applicants are strongly 
encouraged to read the FFO and the programmatic regulations at 15 CFR 
Part 2301 to obtain further information and instructions on the 
application requirements for the program.

Statutory and Regulatory Authority

    The PTFP is authorized by the Communications Act of 1934, as 
amended, 47 U.S.C. Sec. Sec.  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 pt. 2301) are 
posted on the NTIA Internet site at www.ntia.doc.gov/ptfp/Rules/currentrules.htm, and NTIA will make printed copies available to 
applicants upon request.

Program Information

    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 nonbroadcast 
technologies; (2) increase public telecommunications services and 
facilities available to, operated by, and controlled by minorities and 
women; and (3) strengthen the capability of existing public television 
and radio stations to provide public telecommunications services to the 
    The PTFP funds the construction of new public radio and television 
stations and new nonbroadcast public telecommunications facilities; the 
digital conversion of public radio and television stations; and the 
replacement of equipment at public radio and television stations. A 
description of the 112 projects awarded during the FY 2009 PTFP grant 
round may be found on the Internet at www.ntia.doc.gov/ptfp/Projects/2009/index.htm.

Funding Availability

    Issuance of grants is subject to the availability of FY 2010 funds. 
At this time, the Congress has passed the Further Continuing 
Appropriations, 2010, to fund operations of the PTFP through December 
18, 2009. Further notice will be made in the Federal Register about the 
final status of funding for this program at the appropriate time. For 
FY 2009, NTIA awarded $19.4 million in PTFP funds to 111 projects, 
including 63 radio awards, 47 television awards, and one nonbroadcast 
award. The radio awards ranged from $7,556 to $322,364. The television 
awards ranged from $5,122 to $731,924. One nonbroadcast award was made 
for $50,142.

Supplemental Policies

    The following supplemental policies are discussed in the FFO and 
will be in effect during the FY 2010 grant cycle:
    A) Section 2301.10 of the PTFP Final Rules provides for submission 
of applications resulting from catastrophic damage or emergency 
situations. NTIA would like to clarify its implementation of this 
provision. For FY 2010 PTFP applicants, when an eligible broadcast 
applicant suffers catastrophic damage to the basic equipment essential 
to its continued operation as a result of a natural or manmade 
disaster, or as the result of significant equipment failure, and is in 
dire need of assistance in funding replacement of the damaged 
equipment, it may file an emergency application for PTFP funding at any 
    B) For FY 2010 PTFP applications, since there is no potential for 
terrestrial interference with Ku-band satellite uplinks, applicants may 
submit applications to the FCC for Ku-band satellite uplinks after a 
PTFP award is made. Grant recipients for Ku-band satellite uplinks will 
be required to document receipt of FCC authorizations to operate the 
uplink prior to the release of Federal funds. 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. Many 
distance learning applications propose projects that are nationwide in 
nature. NTIA, therefore, believes that the requirement to provide a 
summary copy of the application to every state telecommunications 
agency in a potential service area is unduly burdensome to applicants. 
PTFP applicants for distance learning projects must notify the state 
telecommunications agencies in the states in which they are located, 
but they 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 -- Subpriority A (Transmission Equipment) and 
Subpriority B, (Master Control and Production Equipment; Translators) 
in the Broadcast Other category.
    E) For digital radio conversion projects, NTIA has created a new 
Subpriority -- Subpriority C, Radio Digital Conversion, 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 

[[Page 63122]]

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 Sec.  2301.16 for a description of the Technical 
Evaluation and 15 CFR Sec.  2301.18 for the Selection Process.

Evaluation Criteria

    See 15 CFR Sec.  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 

Funding Priorities and Selection Factors

    See 15 CFR Sec.  2301.4 and the supplemental policies above for a 
description of the PTFP Priorities and 15 CFR Sec.  2301.18 for the 
Selection Factors.

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 Federal share. Any 
applicant can request Federal funding greater than PTFP's policy, up to 
the statutory maximum, and provide justification for the request.

Intergovernmental Review

    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 SF 424 and PTFP-2 pages of the application, but 
applicants should contact their own SPOC offices to find out about and 
comply with its requirements. The PTFP Internet site has a link to the 
Office of Management and Budget (OMB) home page that has the names and 
addresses of the SPOC offices. Applicants may directly access the OMB 
Internet site at www.whitehouse.gov/omb/grants/spoc.html.

Universal Identifier

    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 at www.fedgov.dnb.com/webform.

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 February 11, 2008 (73 FR 7696) is applicable to this 

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 OMB control number. The PTFP 
application form has been cleared under OMB Control No. 0660-0003.

Executive Order 13132

    It has been determined that this notice does not contain policies 
with Federalism implications as that term is defined in Executive Order 

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. Sec.  553(a)(2)). 
Because notice and opportunity for comment are not required pursuant to 
5 U.S.C. Sec.  553 or any other law, the analytical requirements of the 
Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. Sec.  601 et seq.) are 
inapplicable. Therefore, a regulatory flexibility analysis has not been 

    Dated: November 24, 2009.
Anthony G. Wilhelm,
Acting Associate Administrator, Office of Telecommunications and 
Information Applications.
[FR Doc. E9-28738 Filed 12-1-09; 8:45 am]