Public TV Leaders Receive Edge Award

The Association of Public Television Stations will present WXXI Public Broadcasting in Rochester, N.Y., and the Arkansas Educational Telecommunications Network with the Edge Award on Feb. 13 as part of APTS Capitol Hill Day. The Edge Award highlights excellence in the digital transition, groundbreaking partnerships and educational technologies.

WXXI was selected for using technology to provide lifesaving applications to its local public safety agencies. After upgrading to digital broadcasting in 2003, the station teamed up with the Rochester City Fire Department and began using a portion of its digital signal as the backbone for an encrypted Emergency Training and Information Network. The private network allows time-sensitive information to be distributed to firehouses, police stations, ambulances and hospitals within a 75-mile radius of Rochester. Today, the network is deployed to more than 100 user locations.

AETN was chosen for a free Web portal called Internet Delivered Education for Arkansas Schools (IDEAS). The program offers educational resources to every school and teacher in Arkansas. The online resources include video streaming, Arkansas Technical Institute Online, the AETN Scholar Channel and the means to hold online communications with other educators. Arkansas IDEAS is provided by the Arkansas Online Professional Development Initiative; a collaborative effort among AETN, Arkansas Department of Education and PBS Teacherline.

"Public television continues to lead the television industry in rolling out a new generation of digital content and services for the American public," said APTS President and CEO John Lawson. "Our award recognizes those stations and leaders who are at the cutting edge within public television. They truly are the best of the best in leading the digital revolution."