The N.C. Department of Information Technology’s First Responder Emerging Technologies (FirstTech) program is inviting state government entities to apply for assistance in funding the expansion of the Public Safety Broadband Network to serve a specific state campus.
Known as FirstNet, the Public Safety Broadband Network is the first nationwide broadband network specifically built for public safety agencies. It allows first responders to maintain communication during disasters and other large-scale events that could disable or disrupt other communication channels.
NCDIT seeks to fund $2 million in projects that will have the largest impact on extending coverage or enhancing capacity for public safety, and state entities can select state campuses that they consider to be unserved or underserved for evaluation. Funding will be based on a project plan developed by FirstNet in consultation with the applicant. Matching funds will be required from the applicant, and NCDIT’s FirstTech team will use the match rate as part of the grading scale for determining which projects to award. In-kind match will also be accepted.
Applicants must be an entity of North Carolina state government, which includes:
- All state government organizations
- University of North Carolina System or individual schools, universities or centers within the system
- N.C. Community College System or individual schools, colleges or centers within the system
Only one application per campus will be accepted. However, the project plan can involve the deployment of several solutions or infrastructure to achieve coverage enhancement on that campus. Examples of projects include: construction of a new macro cellular tower site; small cell deployments; and temporary deployable assets to achieve needed coverage, among others.
Applications will be accepted starting Nov. 15. Evaluations of the initial submissions will be conducted in March 2024 with awarded projects announced in April 2024. Applications may continue to be submitted on a rolling basis with projects that meet the selection criteria awarded as funding is available.
For more information and to apply, visit the FirstTech website.