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Public Telecommunications Facilities Program

Digital TV Converter Box Coupon Program

Public Safety Interoperable Communications

Low-Power TV & Translator Programs

Technology Opportunities Program

OTIA Staff

American Values, American Jobs

Office of Telecommunications and Information Applications

NTIA's Office of Telecommunications and Information Applications (OTIA) assists public and non-profit entities in effectively using telecommunications and information technologies to better provide public services and advance other national goals. In addition, the office is administering programs that are helping the nation's transition to digital televison.

The Public Telecommunications Facilities Program (PTFP) is a competitive grant program that helps public broadcasting stations, state and local governments, Indian Tribes, and nonprofit organizations construct facilities to bring educational and cultural programs to the American Public using broadcast and nonbroadcast telecommunications technologies. The main objective of the program is to extend the delivery of public radio and television to unserved areas of the United States. Under the program's authority, funds are also allocated to support the Pan-Pacific Educational and Cultural Experiments by Satellite (PEACESAT) project. PEACESAT provides satellite-delivered education, medical, and environmental emergency telecommunications to many small-island nations and territories in the Pacific Ocean region.

The Digital TV Converter Box Coupon Program was authorized in the Digital Television Transition and Public Safety Act of 2005. Between Jan. 1, 2008, and March 31, 2009, all U.S. households will be eligible to request up to two coupons, worth $40 each, to be used toward the purchase of up to two, digital-to-analog converter boxes, while the initial $990 million allocated for the program is available.

The Public Safety Interoperable Communications (PSIC) Grant Program assists state, local and federal first responders better communicate during a natural or man-made disaster. NTIA, in consultation with DHS, shall make payments not to exceed $1 billion in the aggregate through fiscal year 2010 to carry out the PSIC program. Grants will be awarded by September 30, 2007, and grant projects will be completed in Fiscal Year 2010.

The Low Power Television and Translator Assistance Programs include the Low-Power TV and Translator Digital-to-Analog Conversion (Conversion) Program and the Low-Power TV and Translator Upgrade (Upgrade) Program. The Conversion Program will provide funds to assist low-power TV broadcast stations, Class A television stations, television translator stations, and television booster stations ("low-power facilities") to broadcast in analog after the February 17, 2009 digital conversion deadline for full power television stations. The Upgrade Program will reimburse the costs to upgrade these types of facilities in rural communities to digital transmission.

The Technology Opportunities Program (TOP) last awarded grants in 2004, and NTIA is managing existing grants to their completion. TOP grants played an important role in realizing the vision of an information society by demonstrating practical applications of new telecommunications and information technologies in the public and non-profit sector. The TOP website provides information about the grants that were funded by the program.

Digital TV Transition & Public Safety

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