04.28.2011 01:00 PM
Fed Sets Deadline on LPTV Upgrade Program
The fed will stop taking LPTV and translator upgrade applications next summer.
The National Telecommunications and Information Administration has announced
the closing date for the program that made $44 million available for upgrading
low-power TV stations and translators to digital transmission technologies. NTIA
will stop taking applications July 2, 2012.
The NTIA’s grant deadline notice also specifies applications submitted after
July 1, 2011, use 2010 U.S. Census data. Those submitted until that time can
rely on the data from 2000. All other requirements for the grant program remain
There are around 2,540 LPTVs, 520 Class A stations (LPTVs with interference
protection) and around 4,500 licensed translators serving mostly rural areas.
Eligible stations can receive
for up to $6,000 to retrofit analog equipment for digital transmission, or up
to $20,000 to replace analog equipment entirely. Applications are due the first
business day of each month for as long as funds are available, or until the
2012 deadline. According to the NTIA’s award page, $31,601,600 in funding remains
The NTIA’s grant program was launched two years ago, shortly before full-power
TV stations had to pull the plug on analog transmitters. LPTVs and translators
were not held to the same digital-transition deadline. The Federal
Communications Commission last September proposed a transition deadline of
mid-May, 2012 for LPTVs and translators. It also proposed moving them out of
the 700 MHz band, and designating the Media Bureau to oversee LPTV flash cuts. The
proceeding remains open.
~ Deborah D. McAdams
William Cooperman is the NTIA’s point man on the grant program: wcooperman (@) ntia.doc.gov.