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NTIA announces DTV converter grant for LPTV, translator stations

The U.S. Commerce Department’s National Telecommunications & Information Administration (NTIA) Oct. 29 kicked off a program to help low-power TV stations maintain their analog TV operations after the Feb. 17, 2009, deadline for full-power stations to convert to DTV transmission.

The LPTV and Translator Digital-to-Analog Conversion Program will make available a total of $8 million in grants for eligible LPTV translator stations to acquire the converters. The NTIA will grant eligible broadcasters $1000 for the purchase of the equipment. To be eligible, the LPTV station or translator station must retransmit the off-air digital signal of a corresponding full-power DTV station.

Low-power, Class A, translator and booster TV stations are not required to convert to digital on the February 2009 DTV transition deadline.

LPTV and translator stations must apply for the grant, and NTIA will accept applications between Oct. 29, 2007, and Feb. 17, 2009. The NTIA will give priority to grant applicants that operate as a non-profit and to those serving rural areas with fewer than 10,000 viewers.

The NTIA also said it plans to launch a separate program to assist LPTV stations and translator stations upgrade from analog to digital broadcasting.

For more information, visit: www.ntia.doc.