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Blog // Connect Iowa

State Plans Discussed at FirstNet SPOC Meeting

By Amanda Murphy

In April, FirstNet held its semi-annual meeting for state Single Points of Contact (SPOCs). SPOCs are submitting public safety needs data to FirstNet for the planning process. In a follow up blog post about the meeting, FirstNet officials gave more detail about the State Plans process and explained SPOCs can continue submitting updated public safety data until September 30, 2016. State Plan drafts will be presented to each state and territory governor simultaneously through an online portal. This will start the review period of 90 days, a guideline stated in the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012. The State Plan portal is...

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ISICSB Meeting Video Available Online

By Amanda Murphy

The Iowa Statewide Interoperable Communications System Board (ISICSB) has published video of its most recent board meeting. The video is available on ISICSB’s YouTube channel. Board meetings occur each month and include discussion and status information on FirstNet’s nationwide public safety broadband network and its availability for public safety communications in Iowa. Subscribe to ISICSB’s YouTube channel to see upcoming event videos. See upcoming ISICSB events on the ISICSB’s website.   Connect Iowa, in partnership with the Iowa Statewide Interoperability Communications System Board (ISICSB), has delivered FirstNet presentations to...

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FirstNet Extends RFP Deadline to May 31

By Amanda Murphy

The First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) has announced a deadline extension for the Request for Proposals (RFP) for the national public safety broadband network. The deadline has been extended from May 13, 2016, to May 31, 2016. According to FirstNet, the more than two-week extension was largely motivated by the voluntary capability statements received for the project proposals at the end of March.  “Our decision to extend the deadline for final proposals was driven by both the volume and nature of the capability statements as well as requests for extensions we’ve received from interested parties,” said FirstNet Chief Executive...

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USDA Accepting Applications for $11M in Grants To Further Broadband to Rural Communities

By Amanda Murphy

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is accepting applications for grants through its Community Connect program. This program helps fund broadband access in unserved communities and is administered by USDA’s Rural Utilities Service. More than $11 million in grants will be awarded for broadband infrastructure, as well as broadband for community centers and public institutions. For 2016, the minimum grant amount will be $100,000, and the maximum is $3 million. For more information on the application process for the grants, see the April 18, 2016 Federal Register. Read the news release distributed by the USDA on April 18, 2016.

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