Public safety entities who have relocated their radios and systems from Band 14 in advance of the deployment and operation of the Nationwide Public Safety Broadband Network (NPSBN) were given grants provided by The First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet). Eight grants were announced for its Band 14 Incumbent Spectrum Relocation Grant Program (Band 14 Program). The recipients were:
- Illinois Emergency Management Agency –$14,025,249.50
- Virginia State Police – $7,304,459.00
- Arkansas State Police – $3,830,939.89
- Massachusetts State Police –$1,554,610.00
- Department of Defense, Honolulu County, Hawaii –$44,533.38
- Marshall Fire Department, Michigan –$23,500.00
- Stamford Fire Department, Connecticut –$15,870.00
- Post Falls Police Department Idaho –$13,470.00
“Public safety’s needs are our top priority, and we are pleased to be working hand-in-hand with these Band 14 public safety incumbents,” said FirstNet CEO Mike Poth. “The awarding of these grants will help to ensure a smooth transition for these entities while at the same time making sure the spectrum is free and clear for the deployment of public safety’s nationwide wireless broadband network.”
The Band 14 Program Federal Funding Opportunity was introduced on March 16, 2016. The review process included a technical review by independent peer reviewers with subject matter expertise who verified whether each applicant provided a technically feasible and viable solution to relocate its communications systems from the Band 14 spectrum.
Awardees will have one year to complete their project plans and relocate their existing radios and systems under the Band 14 program. FirstNet will begin tracking the progress of each grantee’s spectrum relocation efforts, providing assistance in meeting the goal of clearing the spectrum within 12 months. Examples of activities conducted by awardees will include reprogramming, retuning, and reconfiguring equipment to ensure effective transition out of the Band 14 spectrum.