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Feds Issue $65 Million for Low-Power Conversion

The federal agency in charge of subsidizing digital-to-analog converter boxes for the DTV transition has created a grant program to help low-power TV stations make the switch.
LPTVs, Class A TV stations and translators were not included in the government’s enforced digital transition¬, and the quandary remains of how they will function after full-power stations go all digital. There are an estimated 4,700 translators some 2,700 or so LPTVs and Class As.
The National Telecommunications & Information Administration will initially award $1,000 grants for eligible low-power operations to buy digital-to-analog transmission technology. Applications are being accepted now through Feb. 17, 2009, when all full-power stations must shut down analog signals.
The NTIA said if a low-power operation wasn’t eligible for the initial grant, it possibly could qualify for an upgrade program that’s still under development. The agency has been authorized to allocate up to $65 million for low-power station upgrades. Details of the program “will be available at a future date,” according to the NTIA Web site.