Agriculture Dollars Diverted to DTV for Noncoms


The U.S. Dept. of Agriculture Friday announced $15 million in grants to 16 rural public TV stations in 13 states to help finance the conversion to digital broadcasting.

"These grants will help bring digital-age broadcasting to rural America," said Agriculture Secretary Ann Veneman. "Many rural communities depend on public television stations for services ranging from educational course content in their schools to local news, weather and agricultural reports. The recipients selected for the competitive grant program have significant need in their communities."

To assist stations with the transition, Congress recommended that $15 million of USDA’s $51.9 million appropriation for distance learning and telemedicine funds be used to help the DTV transition.

The money will be used to fund installation of new antennas, transmitters and digital program management facilities. Stations that create their own programming can also use the money to pay for new cameras, editing and mastering systems.