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APTS recognizes WNET for developing unique emergency communication system using DTV

Thirteen/WNET in New York City has been recognized with an EDGE Award by the Association of Public Television Stations for excellence in the use of digital television technology. The station was honored for its development of Smart Nets, which among other things provides encrypted transmission of communications between first responders and remote locations in times of emergency.

The station developed Smart Nets, short for Smart Dissemination Networks, working with industry, emergency first responders and national defense organizations. The project uses digital television to deliver two tiers of disaster communications. On one level, Thirteen/WNET will use its DTV channel to transmit emergency alerts and information about evacuation, treatment and risks.

On the second tier of service, the station’s Instructional Television Fixed Service (ITFS) channel will be used for transmitting encrypted information. "SmartNets truly achieves the ideals set forth by the EDGE Award criteria - it relies on digital technology and creates a solid foundation for national implementation,” said APTS president and CEO John Lawson. “Despite the 9-11 tragedy in its broadcast area, Thirteen/WNET has turned to the future, and is implementing a collaborative and innovative system that may ultimately save lives."

The association also honored WITF in Harrisburg, Penn., and Maryland Public Broadcasting with EDGE Awards.

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