The National Telecommunications and Information Administration issued approximately $20.45 million worth of Public Telecommunications Facilities Program grants for this year.
A total of 126 projects have been funded. Of those, 72 grants are to replace equipment at public radio and television stations, awarding $9.9 million; 30 grants for some $4.6 million will extend new public radio service.
Sixteen digital conversion grants were awarded for television, representing just over $4 million; three digital conversion grants totaling a little over $202,000 were awarded for radio. With the radio grants, stations in Arcata and San Diego, Calif., will be able to purchase digital production equipment; a station in Baton Rouge, La., can establish an HD Radio multicast service.
The new radio service grants will extend service to an estimated potential 500,000 people and provide additional service to almost 1.2 million people.
Thirty-eight projects totaling more than $2.8 million will replace “urgently needed” equipment at public radio stations. One of the projects, a $20,407 grant to Cumberland Communities Communications Corp., was awarded on an emergency basis to replace an antenna that suffered catastrophic failure as a result of a lighting strike.