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Blog // Connect Iowa

FCC To Lower Broadband Internet Prices for Low-Income Consumers - FACT SHEET

By Tom Koutsky

Download the Fact Sheet On Thursday, March 31, 2016, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will make it easier for low-income families to buy broadband service. It will expand its current "Lifeline" program, which currently subsidizes traditional telephone service for low-income consumers, and allow eligible low-income consumers to lower the price of their qualifying broadband service by $9.25 per month. Expanding Lifeline to broadband is the largest federal broadband adoption program in history. The Lifeline program was created in 1985, and it currently provides telephone and mobile voice service benefits to nearly 63,000 households...

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Video: History of FirstNet

By Amanda Murphy

The First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) was created by Congress in 2012 to establish a nationwide broadband network for public safety. The final recommendation of the 9/11 Commission, the network will connect police officers, firefighters, and EMS providers throughout the U.S. FirstNet is reaching major milestones toward the development of this nationwide broadband public safety network. Here’s a video reminder of the history of FirstNet and the public safety broadband network. Connect Iowa, in partnership with the Iowa Statewide Interoperability Communications System Board (ISICSB), has delivered FirstNet presentations to...

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Band 14 Spectrum Relocation Grants Available

By Amanda Murphy

In a recent press release, FirstNet announced the Band 14 Spectrum Relocation Grant Program has been published on grants.gov. This grant provides funding assistance to public safety entities currently operating on Band 14 to relocate their communications to other frequencies allocated by the FCC. This is to provide clear spectrum, free of any interference, which is needed for the future, nationwide, public safety broadband network. According to FirstNet, a number of public safety entities around the U.S. are operating on the FirstNet-licensed Band 14 frequencies under previous FCC authorizations. The grant is intended to assist in their...

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Next Deadline in FirstNet RFP is March 31

By Amanda Murphy

In January, FirstNet released its Request for Proposals (RFP) for a nationwide public safety broadband network.  The final proposal deadline was extended by two weeks from April 29 to May 13, 2016, after FirstNet received hundreds of questions about the RFP. In an interview with The Business of Federal Technology, FirstNet officials say they’ve answered 334 of the RFP questions and 68 questions that remain will be answered this week. FirstNet officials say they are on track for the proposal deadline and do not foresee any other delays. The next deadline is for capability statements from potential bidders, which are due March 31, 2016....

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