Washington, D.C., Nov 10, 2011 -- Agriculture Under Secretary for Rural Development Dallas Tonsager today announced $4.75 million in grants to assist rural public television stations complete the digital transition of their programs.
Grant recipients are noncommercial educational television broadcast stations serving rural areas across the country and were selected for awards under the Public Television Digital Transition Grant Program on a competitive basis. Administered through USDA’s Rural Utilities Service, the program is one of several designed to help rural communities expand and modernize their infrastructure and technology. Specifically, the Public Television Digital Transition Grant Program is helping bring the digital age to rural America and ensure the availability of broadcasts for communities still served by analog equipment.
Funding under the grant program can be used to acquire, lease, and/or install facilities and software necessary to the digital transition. For instance, Northern Minnesota Public Television (Lakeland Public Television) will be able to complete their digital transition and related tower work to ensure digital service for audiences in northern and central Minnesota, including five Indian reservations.
The Mississippi Authority for Educational Television (Mississippi Public Broadcasting) will use grant funds to replace an existing analog translator with digital for broadcasts in Marion County, an area prone to hurricanes and other inclement weather. The project will ensure digital transmission and quality service to viewers who rely on the station for emergency broadcasts and evacuation orders.
A complete listing of awards included in this announcement is provided below.
Colorado - Rocky Mountain Public Broadcasting Network, Inc. - $416,820
Idaho - Idaho Public Television - $73,115
Kentucky - Western Kentucky University Research Foundation, Inc. - $577,114
Maine - Maine Public Broadcasting Corporation (dba Maine Public Broadcasting Network) - $288,500
Minnesota - West Central Minnesota Educational Television Company, Inc. - $395,000
Minnesota - Northern Minnesota Public Television, Inc. (dba Lakeland Public Television) - $117,400
Missouri - University of Central Missouri - $681,968
Mississippi - Mississippi Authority for Educational Television (dba Mississippi Public Broadcasting) - $144,680
North Carolina - University of North Carolina – Center for Public Television - $357,320
New Mexico - Regents of the University of New Mexico - $50,000
New Mexico - Regents of New Mexico State University - $206,391
South Dakota - South Dakota Board of Directors for Educational Telecommunications - $750,000
Tennessee - Upper Cumberland Broadcast Council, WCTE-TV - $309,107
Tennessee - The Greater Chattanooga Public Television Corp. - $358,000
Virginia - Blue Ridge Public Television - $25,540
USDA, through its Rural Development mission area, administers and manages housing, business and community infrastructure and facility programs through a national network of state and local offices. Rural Development has an existing portfolio of more than $155 billion in loans and loan guarantees. These programs are designed to improve the economic stability of rural communities, businesses, residents, farmers and ranchers and improve the quality of life in rural America.
USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer and lender. To file a complaint of discrimination, write: USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, DC 20250-9410 or call (800) 795-3272 (voice), or (202) 720-6382 (TDD).