(a) In general (1) Establishment
The Secretary, acting through the Assistant Director for Emergency Communications (referred to in this section as the "Assistant Director"), and in coordination with the Federal Communications Commission and the Secretary of Commerce, shall establish an International Border Community Interoperable Communications Demonstration Project (referred to in this section as the "demonstration project").
(2) Minimum number of communities
The Assistant Director shall select no fewer than 6 communities to participate in a demonstration project.
(3) Location of communities
No fewer than 3 of the communities selected under paragraph (2) shall be located on the northern border of the United States and no fewer than 3 of the communities selected under paragraph (2) shall be located on the southern border of the United States.
The Assistant Director, in coordination with the Federal Communications Commission and the Secretary of Commerce, shall ensure that the project is carried out as soon as adequate spectrum is available as a result of the 800 megahertz rebanding process in border areas, and shall ensure that the border projects do not impair or impede the rebanding process, but under no circumstances shall funds be distributed under this section unless the Federal Communications Commission and the Secretary of Commerce agree that these conditions have been met.
(c) Program requirements
Consistent with the responsibilities of the Emergency Communications Division under section 571 of this title, the Assistant Director shall foster local, tribal, State, and Federal interoperable emergency communications, as well as interoperable emergency communications with appropriate Canadian and Mexican authorities in the communities selected for the demonstration project. The Assistant Director shall—
(1) identify solutions to facilitate interoperable communications across national borders expeditiously;
(2) help ensure that emergency response providers can communicate with each other in the event of natural disasters, acts of terrorism, and other man-made disasters;
(3) provide technical assistance to enable emergency response providers to deal with threats and contingencies in a variety of environments;
(4) identify appropriate joint-use equipment to ensure communications access;
(5) identify solutions to facilitate communications between emergency response providers in communities of differing population densities; and
(6) take other actions or provide equipment as the Assistant Director deems appropriate to foster interoperable emergency communications.
(d) Distribution of funds (1) In general
The Secretary shall distribute funds under this section to each community participating in the demonstration project through the State, or States, in which each community is located.
(2) Other participants
A State shall make the funds available promptly to the local and tribal governments and emergency response providers selected by the Secretary to participate in the demonstration project.
Not later than 90 days after a State receives funds under this subsection the State shall report to the Assistant Director on the status of the distribution of such funds to local and tribal governments.
(e) Maximum period of grants
The Assistant Director may not fund any participant under the demonstration project for more than 3 years.
(f) Transfer of information and knowledge
The Assistant Director shall establish mechanisms to ensure that the information and knowledge gained by participants in the demonstration project are transferred among the participants and to other interested parties, including other communities that submitted applications to the participant in the project.
(g) Authorization of appropriations
There is authorized to be appropriated for grants under this section such sums as may be necessary.
AMENDMENTS 2018—Pub. L. 115–278, §2(g)(6)(D)(iii), substituted "Assistant Director" for "Director" wherever appearing. Subsec. (a)(1). Pub. L. 115–278, §2(g)(6)(D)(i), substituted "Assistant Director for Emergency Communications (referred to in this section as the ‘Assistant Director’)" for "Director of the Office of Emergency Communications (referred to in this section as the ‘Director’)". Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 115–278, §2(g)(6)(D)(ii), substituted "Emergency Communications Division" for "Office of Emergency Communications" in introductory provisions.
6 U.S.C. § 580 (2018)