The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced Monday it has granted government-run Puerto Rico Public Broadcasting Corp. (WIPR-TV) a grant of 465,739 for infrastructure and equipment to expand access to education and economic development for rural residents.
“This investment will help WIPR-TV serving substantially rural communities make the transition to digital broadcasts,” José Otero-García, Rural Development State Director for Puerto Rico, said. “This newer, digital technology will give rural residents more access to advanced teaching resources.”
USDA Rural Development is awarding grants through the Public Television Digital Transition Grant program for more than $2.5 million for six projects.
While the Federal Communications Commission required all television broadcasters to have converted their transmitter to broadcast digital signals by June 12, 2009, many rural stations have yet to complete a full digital transition of their stations across all equipment, such as studio production and master control equipment. Many stations rely on translator (repeaters to expand the broadcast range) to reach the most remote communities and the 2009 FCC deadline did not apply to these.
Public Television Digital Transition grants may be used to acquire and install facilities and software necessary for the transition. The grants also may be used for associated and engineering and environmental studies.
Last week, the agency announced it had awarded the Ana G. Méndez University system a similar grant for $566,505, as this media outlet reported.