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CPB Opens New Digital Conversion Grant Round for Power Boost

Applications due April 30

Now that the FCC has okayed the FM IBOC power increase, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting has opened another application window for digital conversion funds.

Applicants are expected to apply for at least the across-the-board 6 dB digital increase and up to the FCC-allowed 10 dB if possible. This then suggests that the applicant should calculate the maximum legal IBOC power allowed by the FCC so the equipment they chose to purchase will have the capability to operate at the higher level.

CPB Consultant Doug Vernier of V-Soft tells me these grants are for all equipment necessary to make the increase, though not replacement of early adopter gear unless replacement is “required” for the station to make the power increase.

Some equipment categories eligible for the grants include HD Radio transmitters, including required exciters for elevated power operations, conversion kits to convert to HD Radio operation, combiners and UPS for digital gear. Antennas are eligible, though the applicant must say why the existing antenna can’t deliver the elevated IBOC signal.

The grant would cover shipping and delivery charges for the eligible equipment covered by the award.

To date, CPB has approved funding for the digital conversion of about 600 public radio transmitters. Approximately 550 public radio stations have completed conversions and are transmitting digital signals. Of those, about 180 are multicasting a total of 230 multicast streams.

See the grant guidelines or e-mail Djinni Field, radio digital grants manager at [email protected].