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$19+ Million in PTFP Grants Awarded; $6+ Million for Radio

Five of the radio projects were awarded grants on an emergency basis.

The Commerce Department’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration has awarded a total of just over $19 million spread across 110 grants to public radio, television and non-broadcast distance learning projects for FY2008.

Just over $6 million was spread among a total of 61 radio awards. More than $9 million went to 31 grantees to help public television stations convert to digital. Twenty-two grants, totaling $4.5 million, were awarded to extend new public radio and television service.

Other awards include 41 projects for $2.7 million that will replace urgently needed equipment, like generators or UPS systems, at public radio stations and to convert stations to digital in Durham, N.C., and Lexington, Neb.

Five of the radio projects were awarded on an emergency basis. These include: a grant of $81,393 to the University of Louisiana at Lafayette to purchase equipment required to maintain service due to a forced relocation; a grant of $138,792 to Montana State University to replace a discontinued third-party analog microwave distribution system with a satellite system to feed a statewide translator network; a grant of $22,500 to the Texas Educational Broadcasting Co-operative, Austin, for installation costs to replace equipment destroyed by fire; a grant of $29,141 to the Utah State University to replace a transmitter operating on one-sixth power; and a grant of $70,531 to the University of Northern Iowa to replace a burned out transmission line.

The largest of the 61 radio grants, for $337,684, is to the University of Utah for a project to establish three new FM/HD repeater stations. These stations will provide first public radio service to nearly 62,000 people in Monroe, Roosevelt, and Monticello, Utah, NITA said.

For FY 2007, NTIA awarded PTFP funds to 117 projects, including 57 radio grants, 56 television awards and four non-broadcast grants. The radio grants ranged from about $6,700 to $393,000.