Leslie Stimson of Radio World /
CPB Grants EAS Funds
WASHINGTON — The
Corp. for Public Broadcasting has awarded total of $1 million in
emergency alerting and communications grants to five public
Three of the five grant recipients — WSKG in Binghamton, N.Y.; Maine Public Broadcasting Network and WGBH in Boston — are joint radio-television licensees. The other two grant recipients are Vegas PBS in Nevada and Twin Cities Public Television in Minnesota.
says the stations will work with other public stations in their areas
and also community partners to acquire or develop wireless technology to
enhance their support to first responders, emergency management
agencies and the public for emergency alerting purposes. Using station
announcements in CAP-EAS, state and local officials will be able to send
alerts and other warning information through text, audio and video to
first responders and the public, including communities where citizens
are less proficient in English, according to CPB.
is requiring the stations to share their work and experiences with the
public media system in order to increase the impact of the initiative.
Massachusetts Democratic Sen. Ed Markey calls the partnership for alerting “an important use of the broadcast spectrum.”
several natural disasters, the CPB board identified the need to expand
the alerting capabilities of public stations. CPB President/CEO Pat
Harrison says the grants will ensure stations will be able to more
effectively warn the public with vital, potentially life-saving
information when needed.
The money will go towards things like expanding alert capacity from WSKG
to other public media in the region. WSKG covers 21 counties in New
York state and northern Pennsylvania. WSKG is connected to the Broome
County Office of Emergency Management through its Emergency Direct Link
system, allowing the station to receive and broadcast emergency messages
throughout their region. With CPB’s support, this relationship and
capacity will be replicated by other New York public media stations with
the installation of videoconferencing and codec equipment at their
partner local emergency management agencies, according to CPB.
Maine Public Broadcasting Network covers Maine, as well as parts of New
Hampshire and Massachusetts. With CPB’s support, MPBN will create a
closed-circuit communications system that links the Maine Emergency
Management Agency, the Maine State Police, commercial and noncommercial
broadcasters, and other news providers around the state.
will use CPB funding to create a statewide emergency communications
system. Using digital bandwidth at WGBH in Boston and WGBY in
Springfield, CPB says this system will build on the Massachusetts
Emergency Management Agency’s infrastructure to deliver high bandwidth,
reliable and secure video, audio, and other data to state agencies and