Radio and TV Broadcasting Grants, Due Feb 26

Completed applications must be received at the PTFP office no later than 5:00 p.m., Eastern Time, on Thursday, February 4, 2010, with the following exception: Because the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will accept applications for new FM facilities only during the period February 19-26, 2010 (“FM Window”), completed PTFP applications for projects filed at the FCC during this FM Window must be received at the PTFP office no later than 5:00 p.m., Eastern Time, on Thursday, February 26, 2010

Current Closing Date for Applications: Completed applications must be received at the PTFP office no later than 5:00 p.m., Eastern Time, on Thursday, February 4, 2010, with the following exception: Because the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will accept applications for new FM facilities only during the period February 19-26, 2010 (“FM Window”), completed PTFP applications for projects filed at the FCC during this FM Window must be received at the PTFP office no later than 5:00 p.m., Eastern Time, on Thursday, February 26, 2010.

Category Explanation: The Public Telecommunications facilities Program (PTFP) assists, through matching grants, in the planning and construction of public telecommunications facilities.
Expected Number of Awards: 100
CFDA Number(s): 11.550 — Public Telecommunications Facilities Planning and Construction
Cost Sharing or Matching Requirement: Yes

Eligible Applicants
State governments
County governments
City or township governments
Special district governments
Independent school districts
Public and State controlled institutions of higher education
Native American tribal governments (Federally recognized)
Native American tribal organizations (other than Federally recognized tribal governments)
Nonprofits having a 501(c)(3) status with the IRS, other than institutions of higher education
Private institutions of higher education

Additional Information on Eligibility:
To apply for and receive a PTFP Construction or Planning Grant, an applicant must be: (a) a public or non-commercial educational broadcast station; (b) a non-commercial telecommunications entity; (c) a system of public telecommunications entities; (d) a non-profit foundation, corporation, institution, or association primarily for educational or cultural purposes; or (e) a state, local, or Indian tribal government (or agency thereof), or a political or special purpose subdivision of a state. Individuals are not eligible for this program.

Agency Name
Department of Commerce
Description
The Public Telecommunications Facilities Program (PTFP) assists, through matching grants, in the planning and construction of public telecommunications facilities in order to: (1) extend delivery of service to as many citizens as possible by the most cost-effective means, including the use of broadcast and non-broadcast technologies; (2) increase public telecommunications services and facilities available to, operated by, and controlled by minorities and women; and (3)strengthen the capability of existing public TV and radio stations to provide public telecommunications services to the public. Issuance of grants is subject to the availability of FY 2010 funds.

Eligible Projects and Priorities
An applicant may file an application with the Agency for a planning or construction grant. Each application shall be identified as a broadcast or nonbroadcast project and must fall within at least one of the following categories, which are summarized here and are fully described in

Section 2301.4 of the PTFP Rules:

(a) Special Applications (Nonbroadcast/Distance Learning). NTIA possesses the discretionary authority to recommend awarding grants to eligible nonbroadcast applicants whose proposals are unique or innovative and which address demonstrated and substantial community needs (e.g., service to the blind or deaf and nonbroadcast projects offering educational or instructional services).

(b) Broadcast Applications. The Broadcast Priorities are set forth in order of priority for funding.

(1) Priority 1 ── Provision of public telecommunications facilities for first radio and television signals to a geographic area. Within this category, NTIA establishes three subcategories:

(i) Priority 1A. Projects that include local origination capacity.

(ii) Priority 1B. Projects that do not include local origination capacity.

(iii) Priority 1C. Projects that provide first nationally distributed programming. This subcategory includes projects that provide satellite downlink facilities to noncommercial radio and television stations that would bring nationally distributed programming to a geographic area for the first time, including interconnection with the Public Radio Satellite System and with the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) Next Generation Interconnection System (NGIS).

(2) Priority 2 ── Replacement of basic equipment of existing essential broadcast stations. The term “essential stations” refers to existing broadcast stations that provide either the only public telecommunications signal or the only locally originated public telecommunications signal to a geographical area.

(3) Priority 3 ── Establishment of a first local origination capacity in a geographical area.

Projects in this category include the planning or construction of facilities to bring the first local origination capacity to an area already receiving public telecommunications services from distant sources through translators, repeaters, or cable systems.

(4) Priority 4 ── Improvement of public broadcasting services: Projects eligible for consideration under this category are intended to improve the delivery of public broadcasting services to a geographic area. Within this category, NTIA establishes two subcategories:

(i) Priority 4A. This subcategory includes the four following types of projects:

(A) Applications to replace urgently needed equipment from public broadcasting stations that do not meet the Priority 2 criteria because they do not provide either the only public telecommunications signal or the only locally originated public telecommunications signal to a geographic area.

(B) The establishment of public broadcasting facilities to serve a geographic area already receiving the same type (radio or TV) of public telecommunications services.

(C) The acquisition of satellite downlinks for public radio stations in areas already served by one or more full-service public radio stations including interconnection with the Public Radio Satellite System.

(D) The acquisition of the necessary items of equipment to bring the inventory of an already-operating station to the basic level of equipment requirements established by PTFP.

(ii) Priority 4B. The improvement and non-urgent replacement of equipment at any public broadcasting station.

(5) Priority 5 ── Augmentation of Existing Broadcast Stations. Projects in this category would equip an existing station beyond a basic capacity to broadcast programming from distant sources and to originate local programming. Within this category, NTIA establishes two subcategories:

(i) Priority 5A. Projects to equip auxiliary studios at remote locations, or to provide mobile origination facilities. While PTFP can equip a remote van for audio/video production, it cannot fund vehicles.

(ii) Priority 5B. Projects to augment production capacity beyond basic level in order to provide programming or related materials for other than local distribution.

(6) Broadcast Other cases (Digital Conversion). NTIA possesses the discretionary authority to recommend awarding grants to eligible broadcast applicants whose proposals are so unique or innovative that they do not clearly fall within the five Priorities listed in this section. Innovative projects submitted under this category must address demonstrated and substantial community needs or must address issues related to the conversion of public broadcasting facilities to advanced digital technologies.

Please note that for the FY 2010 grant round, NTIA has established three subpriorities under the Broadcast Other category. These subpriorities are discussed in the sections on Radio Broadcasting and Television Broadcasting below.

2. Radio Broadcasting

NTIA will take great care to ensure that its funding of radio applications follows the directive of 47 U.S.C. § 393(c) that “a substantial amount” of each year’s PTFP funds should be awarded to public radio. For the FY 2010 grant round, the eligibility and priority of radio projects, eligibility of radio equipment, and the presumption of 50 percent funding for radio equipment replacement applications remain as they were in the FY 2009 grant round.

In response to recent events and changes in technology and in the Federal regulatory environment, NTIA is providing guidance on four issues of interest to potential radio applicants. Applicants proposing projects involving (a) radio signal expansion, (b) conversion to digital transmission, (c) Internet streaming, and (d) stand-by generators and uninterruptible power supply units should read the appropriate sections below.

(a) Radio signal expansion

NTIA’s highest priority is activation of public broadcasting facilities to provide a public broadcasting signal to unserved audiences. NTIA is prepared to fund new radio station projects as warranted by reviewers’ evaluations and PTFP’s financial resources.

For the first time in many years, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will accept noncommercial educational FM applications for new stations during an open window February 19-26, 2010.
See Media Bureau Announces Filing Window for Vacant Allotments Reserved forNoncommercial Educational Use Rescheduled to February 19-26, 2010; Associated MinorChange Freeze to Commence on February 6, 2010, Public Notice, DA 09-2293 (October 23,2009).

Close NTIA has extended the Closing Date for PTFP applications filed in conjunction with the FM Window. Applications for projects filed at the FCC during this FM Window must be received at the PTFP office no later than 5:00 p.m., Eastern Time, on February 26, 2010. NTIA anticipates receiving many applications for these newly filed station activation projects as well as applications submitted when the FCC resolves mutually exclusive applications, or issues authorizations for non-mutually exclusive applications. Since NTIA cannot predict the timing of FCC processing of applications, NTIA will accept and process applications requiring FCC action prior to the FCC’s issuance of Construction Permits or other authorizations. NTIA reminds applicants, however, that under Section 2301.12(h) of the PTFP Rules“[n]o grant will be awarded until confirmation has been received from the FCC that anynecessary authorization will be issued.”

Close Applicants that have submitted multiple FCC applications during the FM 2010 window should submit a single PTFP application. The application narrative should discuss each proposed facility and include a copy of the FCC application for each location for which funding is requested. (If multiple FCC applications request alternate frequencies for a single facility, only one copy of the FCC application is required.) In anticipation of increased interest in these types of applications, NTIA is hereby providing the following guidance to potential applicants. Potential applicants are also encouraged to contact the program officers for their states, listed in Section VII, Agency Contacts.

NTIA’s first priority for radio projects remains activations to provide the first public radio signal to an area. These projects are divided into two subgroups, Priority 1A and Priority 1B.

First Signal Activations with Local Origination: Priority 1A. As in the past, Priority 1A status will be given to first public radio signal projects that will originate a local public radio service to a geographic area. A Priority 1A application must include local offices and studios which are fully staffed for station management and program production.

NTIA has long recognized that new fully-staffed Priority 1A projects are usually submitted by organizations that are beginning to build community support. Priority 1A projects usually also incur significant project costs which are ineligible for Federal support, such as studio building acquisition/renovation and start-up staff costs. Because these projects are NTIA’s highest priority, PTFP will continue to fund Priority 1A applications with a presumption of a 75 percent Federal share, the maximum amount permitted by law.

First Signal Activations without Local Origination: Priority 1B. Priority 1B status will continue to be given to first public radio signal projects which are repeaters or translators of other public radio facilities. Projects that will serve significant additional listeners with a first public radio signal through increases in tower height and/or power upgrades may be classified as Priority 1B or Priority 2 (equipment replacement) and are discussed in the section on power increase projects below.

In recent years, the emphasis of applications received for expansion projects has changed from requests for fully staffed stations to requests for Priority 1B repeaters and translators. Given the limited availability of Federal funds and the increasing number of applications for new repeater/translator stations, PTFP will now evaluate Priority 1B applications to determine whether or not 75 percent Federal funding is justified.

In general, NTIA will continue its present presumption of 75 percent Federal funding for Priority 1B applications which construct the applicant’s first broadcast facility in a community.

An application seeking to upgrade a translator to a repeater will normally be funded by NTIA at a 50 percent Federal share. These applicants should be able to draw on the financial resources of the community served by the applicant’s existing program service. Since the broadcaster would be building upon existing infrastructure, it also would incur reduced ineligible start-up costs. Applicants for these types of Priority 1B projects may seek a higher Federal share percentage by submitting a justification for the increased amount, which will be evaluated by PTFP.

Power increase projects. Sometimes a project to replace a station’s transmitter or antenna results in an increase in coverage to a new, but relatively small, unserved audience. PTFP usually treats these applications with incidental coverage increases as Priority 2 applications if the equipment replacement meets the Priority 2 criteria. If an applicant requests a Priority 1B consideration of such an application, the applicant should provide documentation of a significant increase in the population that will receive a first public radio signal. PTFP will evaluate the Priority of such requests on a case-by-case basis. Since the applicant already has a facility in the community, these projects, if accepted as Priority 1B, will normally be funded by NTIA at a 50 percent Federal share. Applicants for these types of Priority 1B projects may seek a higher Federal share percentage by submitting justification for the increased amount, which will be evaluated by PTFP.

Second (additional) Station Activations: Priority 3 for those with first local origination, otherwise Priority 4A. An application to provide an additional public radio signal to an area already served by public radio will continue to be placed in Priority 4A, unless it provides the first local origination to an area, in which case it will be placed in Priority 3.
Priority 3 projects may add local origination capability to an existing repeater facility orconstruct a new fully staffed station.

Close The project must demonstrate that it will address underserved needs in a way that significantly differentiates its services from what is already available in the proposed coverage area (see § 2301.4(b)(ii)(b) of the PTFP Final Rules).

In order to extend its resources to assist in signal expansion projects, NTIA will usually fund Priority 3 and 4A additional signal projects at no more than a 50 percent Federal share. This is due both to the lower priority and the reduced ineligible costs of Priority 3 and 4A repeater/translator projects which build upon existing infrastructure. Applicants for Priority 3 and 4A expansion projects, including those for new fully-staffed facilities, may seek a higher Federal share percentage by submitting justification for the increased amount, which will be evaluated by PTFP.

If a project to construct a second station (or other additional stations in a community) results in coverage to a new unserved audience and the applicant requests Priority 1B consideration of its application, the applicant should provide documentation of a significant increase in the population that will receive a first public radio signal. PTFP will evaluate the Priority of such requests on a case-by-case basis.

Important information for all station activation applicants:

(1) Coverage Maps. An applicant proposing to construct a Priority 1A, 1B, Priority 3, or Priority 4A station activation should provide documentation, such as maps or tables, of the number and geographical location of persons who would receive a first public radio signal as well as the number and location of persons already covered by another public radio station who would receive added service as a result of the proposed project (see § 2301.4(b)(1)(v) of the PTFP Final Rules).

(2) Digital Transmission Equipment. An applicant proposing to construct a Priority 1A, 1B, Priority 3, or Priority 4A station activation should address whether it requests funds to equip the new facility with digital broadcast capability. As noted below in the discussion regarding digital conversion, NTIA anticipates that it will fund digital-upgradable transmitters as the usual equipment for new facilities. Grant recipients will be able to add, at their own expense, in-band, on-channel (IBOC) exciters and additional power output modules as needed to PTFP-funded digital-upgradable transmitters.
The FCC selected the hybrid AM and FM IBOC systems tested by the National RadioSystems Committee as de facto standards for interim digital operation. See Digital AudioBroadcasting Systems and Their Impact on the Terrestrial Radio Broadcast Service, First Reportand Order, MM Docket No. 99-325, 17 F.C.C. Rcd. 19990 (2002).

Close Applicants requesting full IBOC digital transmitters as part of their activation project must include documentation of the station’s digital plan demonstrating its programming readiness to begin digital broadcasting upon receipt of PTFP funding. An application for IBOC transmission equipment also must directly address in its technical exhibits the type of analog/digital signal combining proposed. The applicant should include its plans, if any, to utilize Program Associated Data or the Supplemental Audio Channel (multicasting) as authorized by the FCC. See Digital Audio Broadcasting Systems and Their Impact on the Terrestrial RadioBroadcast Service, Second Report and Order, First Order on Reconsideration and Second FurtherNotice of Proposed Rulemaking (DAB Second Report and Order), 22 F.C.C. Rcd. 10344, 10357(2007).

Close NTIA reminds potential applicants that licensing fees for the use of IBOC technology are considered operating expenses and are not eligible for PTFP funds.

NTIA is aware that the FCC has under consideration proposals to increase the permitted power levels of IBOC technology. NTIA will not provide funds for transmitters to operate at IBOC power levels higher than those authorized by the FCC for the station at the time of award. If the FCC subsequently authorizes IBOC higher power levels, grantees will be permitted to add non-Federal funds to purchase a higher-power transmitter that is partially funded by the PTFP grant.

(b) Radio station conversion to digital transmission

NTIA encourages the use of digital technologies for public radio facilities. For many years, NTIA has funded projects for digital studio-transmitter-links (STLs) and digital audio production equipment which will assist public radio stations as they prepare for conversion to digital technologies. These digital projects are funded as equipment replacement, improvement, or augmentation projects with the presumption of a 50 percent Federal share unless a showing of extraordinary need for a higher percentage has been made pursuant to § 2301.6(b)(ii) of the PTFP Rules. NTIA will continue to support digital non-transmission equipment for radio equipment replacement projects.

Digital conversion projects. Since approving digital radio in 2007, the FCC has licensed over 1,700 commercial and noncommercial digital radio stations.
On September 9, 2009, the FCC list posted at http://www.fcc.gov/mb/audio/digital/contained 289 licensed digital AM stations and 1,463 licensed digital FM stations.

Close Unlike the digital conversion of television stations, however, the FCC has not established a deadline for the conversion of radio stations. In addition, there is the question of when digital radio receivers will achieve significant penetration in the marketplace. While the availability of digital radios steadily increases, the number of installedreceivers in late 2008 was estimated at less than one million. http://www.twice.com/article/253539-HD_Radio_Continues_Slow_But_Steady_Growth.php(viewed September 9, 2009).

Close These factors raise the issue of whether projects whose primary purpose is to begin digital radio broadcasts present compelling urgency for funding in the FY 2010 grant round.

For FY 2010, NTIA will accept applications for digital transmission equipment for public radio facilities to convert to digital broadcasting. PTFP has included a list of eligible digital equipment on its Internet site and in its printed materials. This list includes transmission and STL equipment. Applicants for digital conversion projects must include documentation of the station’s digital conversion plan demonstrating its programming readiness to begin digital broadcasting upon receipt of PTFP funding. The applicant should include its plans, if any, to utilize Program Associated Data or the Supplemental Audio Channel. Digital conversion applications must directly address in their technical exhibits the type of analog/digital signal combining proposed.

PTFP will place radio applications requesting funds to convert to digital broadcasting in the Broadcast Other category. In order to process applications for digital conversion in an orderly manner and to provide guidance to potential applicants for the FY 2010 Grant Round, NTIA will divide the Broadcast Other category into three Subpriorities. Digital television projects will be placed into Subpriorities A and B because the FCC mandated television’s digital conversion and established a series of deadlines that television stations must meet. Digital radio conversion projects will be placed in Subpriority C.

Broadcast Other, Subpriority C. Radio Digital Conversion. NTIA will assign the following applications for conversion of public broadcasting facilities to advanced digital technologies to the third subpriority level within the Broadcast Other category. These applications will receive equal consideration as Subpriority C.

– An application to convert radio transmission facilities to digital technologies or an application to add a digital exciter to a digital-upgradable transmitter. In order to be highly competitive, an application must document its plans to utilize Program Associated Data or the Supplemental Audio Channel.

– An application to convert production equipment to digital technologies for a station already broadcasting in digital or a station proposing to broadcast in digital. In order to be highly competitive, an application must document its plans to utilize Program Associated Data or the Supplemental Audio Channel.

– An application for additional equipment necessary to originate programming utilizing the Supplemental Audio Channel. In order to be highly competitive, an application must document that current equipment is inadequate to program the Supplemental Audio Channel and that the requested equipment is required.

NTIA notes that in the past it has been able to fund applications each year in most if not all of the five traditional broadcast Priorities and anticipates that it will be able to fund applications in FY 2010 in most if not all of the Subpriorities in the Broadcast Other category. The presumption of funding for radio projects in the Broadcast Other category is a 50 percent Federal share. NTIA has not set aside a specific amount for funding radio digital conversion projects. Funding of radio digital conversion projects will depend on the quality of applications received and the availability of funds.

Digital upgradable transmitters. Regarding FY 2010 applications for replacement equipment, NTIA anticipates that it will fund digital-upgradable transmitters as the usual replacement for analog transmitters at the power level required to achieve the licensed analog ERP, if justified as urgent replacement of radio transmission equipment. Transmitter replacement applications will be placed in Priority 2 or Priority 4A, as appropriate, depending on whether the applicant provides the only public radio signal to an area (see §§ 2301.4(b)(2) and (4)) of the PTFP Final Rules. Grant recipients will be able to add an IBOC exciter and additional power output modules as needed to PTFP-funded digital-upgradable transmitters. The cost for the IBOC exciter and additional power output modules above the amount initially approved for the replacement transmitter will be the responsibility of the grantee for FY 2010 awards. NTIA reminds potential applicants that licensing fees, including licensing fees related to the use of IBOC technology, are considered operating expenses and not eligible for PTFP funds.

Digital Compliant Transmitters. NTIA may also directly fund fully compliant IBOC digital transmitters as replacement equipment, when fully justified by the application. Applicants requesting full IBOC digital transmitters as part of equipment replacement projects must include documentation of the station’s digital conversion plan demonstrating its programming readiness to begin digital broadcasting upon receipt of PTFP funding. Included should be its plans, if any, to utilize Program Associated Data or the Supplemental Audio Channel (multicasting). The request for a digital transmitter, in itself, is not sufficient justification to replace an otherwise adequate analog or composite STL. The need for the replacement of the STL should be supported by technical documentation addressing the program channel and interface requirements of the digital transmitter. Digital conversion applications must directly address in their technical exhibits the type of analog/digital signal combining proposed.

Corporation for Public Broadcasting grant funds. NTIA is aware that the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) has a grant program focused on projects to convert public radio stations to digital broadcasting. In order to facilitate application processing by both CPB and PTFP, applicants for PTFP funds should clearly identify in their application whether they have applied to CPB for funding and list the equipment requested from CPB. The submission of an application to CPB will have no effect on NTIA’s evaluation of the PTFP application. It is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure that no PTFP-funded equipment is funded by both grant programs.

(c) Internet streaming

Given the limited availability of funds, NTIA has emphasized support of basic equipment required for a public broadcast station to serve its local audience (see § 2301.4 of the PTFP Final Rules, passim). NTIA continues to receive more activation and replacement applications than it can fund in any cycle. NTIA has received a few applications for equipment to provide Internet streaming. The applications have not been favorably evaluated by the reviewers or the national advisory panels.

NTIA has determined that streaming on the Internet goes beyond the provision of a basic local public broadcasting service. NTIA will place any applications it receives for streaming equipment in Priority 5B (see § 2301.4(b)(5)(ii) of the PTFP Final Rules). Priority 5B relates to equipment required for the production of “programming for regional and national use.”

(d) Stand-by Power Generators and Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) units

For many years PTFP has funded stand-by power generators and Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) units for existing stations when an applicant has documented a pattern of frequent transmitter power outages accompanied by delayed restoration of power. Station activation projects have included stand-by power equipment only if justified by circumstances at the site where the transmitter was to be installed.

PTFP regards stand-by power generators and uninterruptible power supply units as essential equipment when justified as discussed in this section. Applications seeking such equipment will be placed in Priority 2 or Priority 4A, according to the category in which the applicant otherwise qualifies for equipment replacement projects. (Applications requesting UPS or generators should not be included within digital conversion projects submitted under Broadcast Other Subpriorities A, B, or C.) PTFP is prepared to support only the minimum level of equipment required to keep a station’s signal on the air. Stand-by power for STLs may be funded if their inclusion is justified in the same way as transmitters. Emergency power for origination equipment will be considered in addition to transmission equipment when the applicant demonstrates that such equipment is integral to the emergency service it provides. Applicants requesting UPS or generators must specify (1) whether the requested systems are UPS and/or generators and for which locations they are for (e.g,. master control, transmitter, intermediate microwave site), (2) the KVA rating of the requested system, and what loads are being served, and (3) the size of any additional fuel tanks requested and the number of days of extended operation the fuel tanks would support.
Systems requested for master control would be to power technical facilities required tokeep the station master control on air, including air-conditioning limited to those technicalfacilities.

Close Stand-by generators and UPS units to provide emergency power to entire facilities are not contemplated for PTFP support.

In order to be highly competitive, applicants must support the need for stand-by power by documenting one or more of the following conditions—

(1) the station is part of a state/regional system to which the public is referred by local authorities for information during an emergency, such as an evacuation from a storm or other event; or

(2) the station is a relay point for the distribution of emergency information to get it to transmitters beyond its local coverage area; or

(3) the station is the sole source of emergency information in its service area in contrast to a station that is one of many in an area broadcasting the Emergency Alert System; or

(4) the station has experienced a pattern of frequent transmitter power outages accompanied by delayed restoration of power.

3. Television Broadcasting

Over the past ten years, NTIA has awarded most of its television funds for projects to convert public television stations to digital broadcasting. The FCC’s adoption of the Fifth Report and Order in April 1997 announced a phased plan to bring all television stations in the United States to digital broadcasting. As part of the FCC’s phased plan, each television station was temporarily assigned a second channel (“DTV channel”) during the digital transition period. The first major milestone in the FCC’s plan required that all public television stations begin the broadcast of a digital signal on their DTV channel by May 1, 2003. In FY 2000, NTIA instituted several new policies regarding applications for projects to convert public television stations to digital transmission capability. NTIA continued those policies during the FY 2001, FY 2002, FY 2003 and FY 2004 grant cycles. During these five grant cycles, PTFP was able to assist in the digital conversion of approximately 250 public television stations by funding projects which contained over 100 tower-related projects and over 200 digital transmitters and antennas, as well as STLs, intercity microwave relays, encoders, video servers, satellite interconnect, test and monitoring equipment.

For the FY 2005 grant round, PTFP modified its procedures to address an FCC milestone adopted on August 4, 2004, which required digital public television stations to replicate their analog Grade B coverage or to maximize their facilities by July 1, 2006.
See Second Periodic Review of the Commission’s Rules and Policies Affecting theConversion to Digital Television, Report and Order (Second DTV Periodic Review), MB DocketNo. 03-15, RM 9832, FCC 04-192, 19 F.C.C. Rcd. 18279, 18281 (2004). Public televisionstations had to notify the FCC by November 5, 2004, if they intended their digital channel toreplicate their analog Grade B service or if they intended to “maximize” their coverage area, i.e.,to increase the power of their digital signal beyond that which would only replicate their analogGrade B coverage. The Second DTV Periodic Review established July 1, 2006, as the deadlinefor public television stations to complete their replication or maximization.

Close In the FY 2006 and FY 2007 grant cycles, NTIA emphasized funding of the digital television transmission equipment necessary to broadcast on a station’s ultimate DTV channel or for projects that have received a waiver of the July 1, 2006, FCC deadline for power increases of lower-power digital facilities. During the FY 2008 and FY 2009 grant cycles, NTIA emphasized digital television projects so stations could comply with the FCC’s August 2007 post-transition table of digital television channel allotments. See Advanced Television Systems and their Impact Upon the Existing TelevisionBroadcast Service, Seventh Report and Order and Eighth Further Notice of Proposed RuleMaking (Seventh Report and Order), 22 F.C.C. Rcd. 15581 (2007); see also Advanced TelevisionSystems and their Impact Upon the Existing Television Broadcast Service, Erratum, 2007 FCCLEXIS 5947 (2007) (correcting two mistakes in the Post-Transition DTV Table of Allotments).

(a) Remaining digital conversion requirements

Full power station transmission equipment. Section 3002 of Public Law 109-171, as amended, known as the Digital Television Transition and Public Safety Act of 2005,
See Title III of the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005, Pub. L. No. 109-171, 120 Stat. 4, 21(Feb. 8, 2006).

Close directed full-power television stations to cease analog broadcasting June 12, 2009, and to broadcast solely digital transmissions on June 13, 2009. Section 3002(a) of the Deficit Reduction Act amends Section 309(j)(14)(A) of theCommunications Act of 1934 so that analog full-power television licenses terminate on February17, 2009. Section 3002(b) of the Act directs the FCC to terminate analog television licenses forfull-power stations by February 18, 2009. Section (2)(a) of the DTV Delay Act (Pub. L. No.111-4) extended the deadline to June 13, 2009.

While the June 12, 2009, deadline for the end of analog broadcasting by full-power television stations has passed, the FCC has concluded that the digital signals of many stations are not reaching as many people as the stations’ former analog signals. The FCC predicted that over 400 television stations (including over 70 public stations) would lose two percent or more of their analog viewers after transitioning to digital.
Commission Updates DTV Coverage Maps and List of Stations with 2 Percent orGreater Service Loss, Public Notice DA 09-1274 (June 5, 2009). http://www.fcc.gov/dtv/markets/signal-loss-report.pdf (viewed on September 4, 2009).

Close The FCC has been working with stations to solve reception issues, including granting power increases and allowing stations to move from VHF channels to UHF channels. See FCC Continues Working On DTV-Related Reception Issues, Solutions IncludeRoving Stations From VHF to UHF Channel Positions, Boosting Power, BroadcastingMagazine, (Aug. 17, 2009).http://www.broadcastingcable.com/article/327804-FCC_Continues_Working_On_DTV_Related_Reception_Issues.php. (viewed September 8, 2009).

Close The FCC also authorized two new digital services, Distributed Transmission Systems (DTS) and replacement digital television translators, in an effort to restore signals to former analog viewers. See Digital Television Distributed Transmission System Technologies, Report andOrder, MB Docket No. 05-312, 2008 FCC LEXIS 7698, FCC 08-256 (rel., Nov. 7, 2008) (DTSReport and Order). See also Amendment of Parts 73 and 74 of the Commission’s Rules toEstablish Rules for Replacement Digital Low Power Television Translator Stations, MB DocketNo. 08-253, Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, FCC 08-278 (rel., Dec. 23, 2008). Media BureauAnnounces Application and STA Filing Procedures for New Digital Television Translators,Public Notice, DA 08-2818 (Dec. 30, 2008), available athttp://fjallfoss.fcc.gov/edocslpublic/attachmatch/DA-08-2818A1.pdf..

Close During the FY 2009 grant cycle, NTIA extended the PTFP grant deadline in order to accept applications for these two newly authorized services.

During the FY 2010 grant cycle, NTIA will continue to accept applications for the newly authorized DTS and replacement digital television translator services as well as applications that extend the service areas of digital public television stations to the greatest number of people as permitted by the FCC, whether by power increases or by channel changes. These projects may require the purchase of new transmission facilities, including transmitters, antennas, and transmission lines or the modification of existing facilities. In addition, these projects would fulfill NTIA’s mandate to “extend delivery of public telecommunications services to as many citizens of the United States as possible by the most efficient and economical means.”
47 U.S.C. § 390(1).

NTIA priorities for digital conversion projects during the FY 2010 grant cycle are discussed in the next section of this document–section (b) FY 2010 procedures for digital conversion and equipment replacement applications.

Digital conversion of analog translators. During September 2004, the FCC adopted a Report and Order which established rules for the digital conversion of Low-Power TV (LPTV) stations and translators.
Amendment of Parts 73 and 74 of the Commission’s Rules to Establish Rules forDigital Low Power Television, Television Translator, and Television Booster Stations and toAmend Rules for Digital Class A Television Stations, Report and Order, MB Docket No. 03-185,19 F.C.C. Rcd. 19331 (2004). In this Report and Order, the FCC also declined to authorize on-channel digital boosters.

Close In October 2005, the FCC established procedures under which LPTV stations and translators could either (1) file a minor facilities change application for an on-channel digital conversion of their currently authorized analog station (“a flash cut application”) or (2) could apply for a companion digital LPTV or TV translator station. FCC Commences Accepting Applications for On-Channel Digital Conversion of LowPower TV and TV Translator Stations and Announces Availability of Revised Application Forms346 and 301-CA, Public Notice, DA05-2546, 2005 FCC LEXIS 5461 (Oct. 4, 2005).

Close The FCC accepted applications for companion digital LPTV and translator channels during the limited period May 1-May 12, 2006. Announcement of Filing Window for LPTV and TV Translator Digital CompanionChannel Applications from May 1, 2006 through May 12, 2006, Public Notice DA 06-123 (Jan.26, 2006).

Close In August 2009, the FCC opened another window for the filing of applications for digital companion channels, as well as for the filing of applications for new digital-only LPTV and TV translator stations, and for major changes to existing analog and digital LPTV and TV translator stations. Commencement of Rural, First-come, First-served Digital Licensing for Low PowerTelevision and TV Translators Beginning August 25, 2009 and Commencement of Nationwide,First-come, First-served Digital Licensing for Low power Television and TV Translator ServicesBeginning January 25, 2010, Public Notice, DA 09-1487 (June 29, 2009). The FCC noticefurther indicated that “[n]o applications for new analog facilities will be accepted.” (Emphasis in original).

Close Stations interested in filing PTFP applications for companion channels or for the on-channel flash cut of existing facilities should check with the FCC regarding its application filing procedures.

NTIA is aware that over 500 translators and LPTV stations provide the only public television service available in many rural areas of the country. Conversion of these translators to digital broadcasting technologies will ensure the continued availability of public television to all citizens of the country.

Digital translator projects for the upgrade of existing analog facilities remain eligible for PTFP funding during the FY 2010 grant round. This will enable public television licensees to begin this lengthy and costly conversion and will fulfill NTIA’s mandate to “extend delivery of public telecommunications services to as many citizens of the United States as possible by the most efficient and economical means.”
47 U.S.C. § 390(1).

The Digital Television Transition and Public Safety Act of 2005 established another program within NTIA that will assist commercial as well as noncommercial translators, Class A and Low-Power Television facilities to make the digital transition.
Under section 3009 of the Act, NTIA can award reimbursement grants to upgrade translators, Class A and Low-Power stations from analog to digital in eligible rural communities.
Section 3009 uses the definition of rural communities as defined in Section 610(b)(2)of the Rural Electrification Act of 1937 (7 U.S.C. § 950bb(b)(2)) (“any area of the United Statesthat is not contained in an incorporated city or town with a population in excess of 20,000inhabitants”).

This new grant program, the Low-Power Television and Translator Upgrade Program (Upgrade Program), published its guidelines in the May 12, 2009, Federal Register and is entirely separate from the PTFP. 74 Fed. Reg. 22402.

The Upgrade Program is not being conducted under the PTFP Rules. Under the Upgrade Program, applicants may receive grants of up to $20,000 for upgrade of eligible analog translators to digital. While the Upgrade Program provides funds on a reimbursement basis, no local match is required and applications are accepted monthly until all funds are expended. As November 1, 2009, NTIA had approximately $40 million available for Upgrade Program grants. Applicants considering projects to upgrade analog translators to digital should review the Upgrade Program guidelines prior to submitting an application to PTFP. Upgrade program guidelines are posted on the NTIA web site atwww.ntia.doc.gov/lptv/index.html.

While an applicant may submit applications for the upgrade of an analog translator to both the PTFP and Upgrade Programs, NTIA will not fund the upgrade of a translator from both programs.

Replacement of analog translators. The FCC has steadily moved towards ending analog broadcasting by low-power television facilities. In 2004, the FCC stated that “[i]t is not our intention to allow LPTV, TV translator, and Class A broadcasters to permanently operate their analog facilities. Indeed, we seek to hasten their transition to digital service….”
See supra note 17.

As noted earlier, the FCC has adopted procedures which encourage analog low-power facilities to upgrade to digital by permitting stations to flash-cut to digital at any time. The FCC also assigned a second channel (a digital “companion channel”) to those stations that wanted to operate both in analog and digital during their transition to digital. The low-power and translator window which opened at the FCC in August 2009 did not accept applications for new analog facilities. Reflecting the actions the FCC has taken to move translators and LPTV facilities to digital, NTIA has determined that it should no longer invest PTFP funds in the replacement of analog translators and LPTV facilities with analog equipment. NTIA, however, will fund the upgrade of analog translators and LPTV facilities to digital through either the PTFP or Upgrade Program.

Establishment of new digital translators or major modifications to existing facilities. As noted in the earlier section, in August 2009, the FCC opened a window to accept applications for new digital TV translators and LPTV stations as well as accepting applications for major modifications to existing analog and digital LPTV and TV translator stations. NTIA will place applications that are intended to provide new service and applications resulting from major modifications to existing facilities within the standard PTFP Priorities (usually Priority 1B, 2, or 4A). Note that applications for DTS and replacement digital television translators intended to restore service to former analog viewers will be placed with the Broadcast Other Subpriority as discussed further below.

Upgrade of analog master control and production equipment. NTIA also recognizes that conversion of transmission equipment to digital technology, while important, is only part in the conversion of a public television station to digital broadcasting. NTIA believes that many stations have an immediate need to convert their basic master control support infrastructure to store, distribute and broadcast digital signals. Stations also need to convert their production equipment to digital technologies so they can originate local programming at a technical level that is compatible and comparable in quality with productions available from national sources or other local stations. NTIA will, therefore, consider the replacement or upgrade of analog master control and production equipment to digital as part of a station’s digital conversion project and such applications will be placed in the Broadcast Other Subpriority B category as discussed further below.

Replacement of digital transmission, master control and production equipment. Section 2301.b(6) of the PTFP rules indicates that the Broadcast Other category includes projects intended for “the conversion of public broadcasting facilities to advanced digital technologies.” NTIA first began funding public television digital conversion projects in FY 1998 and is now receiving applications seeking to replace a station’s first generation digital equipment. In order to assist those stations that still rely on analog equipment, NTIA believes that the Broadcast Other Subpriorities should be reserved for the purchase of equipment required to convert a station from an analog to a digital facility. Therefore, applications to replace digital equipment (including the replacement of SD equipment with HD equipment) will be placed within the regular broadcast priorities (usually Priorities 2 or 4A). NTIA may, however, place requests for replacement of digital transmission equipment incidental to power upgrades or channel changes for the purpose of improving signal reception into the Broadcast Other Subpriority as discussed further below.

For the FY 2010 grant cycle, NTIA continues the procedures it used during the FY 2009 grant cycle regarding funding of digital television equipment to emphasize 1) transmission equipment necessary to broadcast on a station’s digital channel as authorized under the FCC’s August 2007 Post-Transition Table of DTV Allotments and subsequent modifications to the Table authorized by the FCC, 2) restoration of service to former analog viewers, 3) increased digital conversion of master control equipment and production equipment, and 4) digital conversion of LPTV stations and translator facilities.

For FY 2009, NTIA awarded $11.3 million to 39 projects which assisted public television stations in the conversion of transmission and master control/production equipment to digital technologies, and $1.5 million for eight urgent television equipment replacement projects. The television awards ranged from $5,122 to $731,924.

Prior to the adoption of the Broadcast Other Subpriorities for digital conversion applications, PTFP routinely placed radio and television equipment replacement projects in Priorities 2 and 4A. When making FY 2010 grants, NTIA will ensure that “a substantial amount” of PTFP funds will be awarded for “the expansion and development of noncommercial radio broadcast station facilities” per the requirements of 47 U.S.C. §393(c).

(b) FY 2010 procedures for digital conversion and equipment replacement applications

NTIA intends to remain responsive to the equipment replacement needs of public television stations. NTIA’s balancing of equipment replacement and digital conversion applications is discussed in the following sections.

In order to assist public broadcasting licensees in converting to digital technologies, NTIA is adopting the application procedures for the FY 2010 grant round which are summarized below and discussed further in the following six portions of this section. Changes in these sections from the procedures in place during the FY 2009 grant cycle are discussed in the following sections.

(1) Subpriorities for digital conversion projects.

• Transmission equipment required by public television stations to complete their digital broadcast facilities will be considered in Broadcast Other, Subpriority A. Transmission equipment includes equipment necessary to maximize broadcast facilities, to change channels as authorized by the FCC, or to restore service to substantial populations that lost service as a result of the station’s transition to digital. NTIA will consider expedited processing for projects that provide adequate justification why expedited processing is required to meet any conditions placed on the authorization by the FCC or to restore service to substantial populations that lost service as a result of the station’s transition to digital.

• Digital master control and production equipment for either replacement of analog equipment or digital conversion of analog equipment will receive equal consideration as Broadcast Other, Subpriority B.

• Production equipment, whether for new digital facilities or as replacement of analog equipment, will be placed in Subpriority B of the Broadcast Other category.

• Digital conversion of translators and LPTV stations has been authorized by the FCC without a deadline. These applications will be placed in Subpriority B.

(2) Equipment eligible for digital television conversion projects and equipment replacement.

• No change from FY 2009. Equipment eligible for digital television conversion and replacement is updated each year as appropriate in the on-line Digital TV equipment list, and includes studio and field cameras as well as digital television translators.

• No change from FY 2009. Stand-by power generators and UPS units remain on the eligible equipment list for digital conversion and equipment replacement projects.

(3) Effective date for expenditure of local matching funds for digital television conversion projects.

• No change from FY 2009. The Closing Date for receipt of FY 2010 applications will be the effective date after which applicants may expend local matching funds for digital television conversion projects.

(4) Funding levels for television projects.

• No change from FY 2009. Fifty (50) percent Federal funding will be the general presumption for digital television conversion and television equipment replacement projects.

(5) Use of Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) matching funds.

• No change from FY 2009. NTIA has limited the use of CPB funds for the non-federal share of PTFP projects to circumstances of “clear and compelling need.”

(6) Coordination with CPB and the Rural Utilities Service (RUS), U.S. Department of Agriculture.

• No change from FY 2009. Applicants must clearly identify in their applications whether they have applied to CPB or RUS for funding, and list the equipment requested from CPB or RUS.

• No change from FY 2009. It is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure that no PTFP funded equipment is also funded by another of these grant programs.

For the FY 2010 grant cycle, NTIA will adopt the following policies regarding digital television conversion and equipment replacement projects.

(1) Subpriorities for digital conversion projects. In order to process applications for digital conversion in an orderly manner and to provide guidance to potential applicants for the FY 2010 Grant Round, NTIA will divide the Broadcast Other category into three Subpriorities. Digital television projects will be placed into Subpriorities A and B because the FCC mandated television’s digital conversion and established deadlines that required digital conversion of full-power television stations. (Digital radio conversion projects will be placed in Subpriority C.) NTIA notes that in the past it has been able to fund applications each year in most if not all of the five traditional broadcast Priorities and the three Broadcast Other Subpriorities and anticipates that it will be able to do the same in FY 2010.

The two Subpriorities for television digital conversion projects are:

Broadcast Other, Subpriority A. Television Digital Transmission Equipment. NTIA will assign the following applications for conversion of public broadcasting facilities to advanced digital technologies at the first subpriority level within the Broadcast Other category. These applications are intended to assist public television stations in (a) constructing digital facilities as a result of the FCC’s digital channel election procedures which were adopted in the Post-Transition DTV Table of Allotments, or (b) meeting the station’s FCC authorizations for a channel change or maximization,
See supra note 9.

Close or (c) restoring service to substantial populations that lost service as a result of the station’s transition to digital. These projects are in the highest subpriority in order to ensure digital public television signals reach the largest number of United States residents.

The following applications will receive equal consideration within Subpriority A:

(a) – An application to convert the analog transmission facilities of a public television station to digital technology to bring the station into compliance with the FCC’s Post-Transition DTV Table of Allotments.

(b) – An application to increase the power of a digital public television station or change its channel. The applications funded will be expected to document how the proposed service change will replicate the station’s comparable analog Grade B coverage, document significant population increase beyond the station’s comparable analog Grade B coverage, or otherwise improve reception and serve a greater number of people than the station’s existing analog service.

NTIA recognizes that applicants may have previously received a PTFP grant for transmission equipment for use on their temporary digital channel. Under PTFP’s legislation, (47 U.S.C. § 392(g)), NTIA retains a ten-year interest in equipment funded by PTFP.
Section 392(g) of the Communications Act states in part that “[i]f, within 10 yearsafter completion of any project for construction of public telecommunications facilities withrespect to which a grant has been made under this section—…(2) such facilities cease to be usedprimarily for the provision of public telecommunications services … the United States shall beentitled to recover from the applicant or other owner of such facilities the amount bearing thesame ratio to the value of such facilities…as the amount of the Federal participation bore to thecost of construction of such facilities.” 47 U.S.C. § 392(g). The ten-year interest period starts atthe conclusion of the PTFP grant award period.

Applications must clearly identify any equipment proposed to replace PTFP-funded equipment that is within the ten-year interest period. The application must also provide a plan regarding the use or disposition of the equipment to be replaced so the Federal interest may continue to be protected. The applicant’s plan may include (1) the use of the transmission equipment as standby transmission equipment by the applicant, (2) sale of the transmission equipment at fair market value and a return of a portion of the proceeds to PTFP for award to other applicants, or (3) transfer of NTIA’s remaining fiduciary interest to other broadcast equipment not purchased with PTFP funds.

(c) – An application to restore service to substantial populations that lost service as a result of the station’s transition to digital through the activation of either a Distributed Transmission System or a replacement digital television translator service.

NTIA will consider expedited processing of those Subpriority A applications that provide adequate justification and a clear timetable detailing why expedited processing is required to meet any conditions placed on the authorization by the FCC. Applications requesting expedited processing will be subject to the same evaluation and selection process followed for all applications received during the application cycle, although the NTIA Administrator may establish a special timetable for evaluation and selection to permit an appropriately timely decision.

Broadcast Other, Subpriority B. NTIA will assign the following applications at the second subpriority level within the Broadcast Other category.

– Digital Conversion and Replacement of Master Control and Production Equipment. Conversion of a public television station’s master control and production equipment is generally considered the next required step in the transition toward full digital conversion. As stations proceed to construct a digital master control, to acquire studio and field production equipment, and to upgrade a production control room, it is necessary that the equipment and systems be compatible and consistent with the digital progress within each station and with public television standards nationwide.

NTIA believes that many stations must replace obsolete analog equipment to complete their digital conversion projects, address multi-channel and High Definition broadcast distribution, and produce programs in digital Standard Definition and High Definition for national, regional or local distribution.

Some stations may proceed to construct a digital master control separate from the station’s existing master control, while other stations may upgrade their existing analog master control by replacing the analog equipment. The same situation may occur with a digital production studio control room which in some cases may be newly constructed and in other cases may be the replacement of production control room equipment in an existing control room.

For master control, production control, production studio equipment and field production equipment, the most cost-effective strategy for a station is to acquire state-of-the-art digital equipment that represents a continuation of the station’s transition to full digital conversion.

Applications that propose new digital facilities and those that propose the replacement of analog equipment and systems as described above will all be placed in this Subpriority B category under digital conversion and will all receive equal consideration in this category.

Digital conversion of a public television station’s production equipment will improve the station’s ability to provide public service to its community. NTIA will accept digital television production equipment as part of conversion projects and will place these applications in Subpriority B of the Broadcast Other category. In order to be highly competitive, we expect applicants to address how the equipment will be used to produce programming that is widely distributed on a regional or national basis or that will be used for the creation of High Definition programming.

– An application to convert a translator or LPTV station to digital. The FCC has authorized the digital conversion of translators and LPTV stations but has not established a deadline for this conversion. Applications for digital conversion of analog translators and LPTV stations will be placed in this Subpriority B category and will be funded only if the project receives authorization from the FCC. As noted earlier, the activation of a new digital translator or LPTV station will be placed in broadcast Priority 1B, 2, or 4, as appropriate.

(2) Equipment eligible for digital television conversion projects and equipment replacement. For FY 2010, NTIA will support the digital equipment necessary to continue with full digital conversion and with the replacement of analog equipment in master control, production studio control, studio production, and field production. NTIA urges stations to ensure that applications for new digital facilities and for the replacement of analog equipment with digital equipment propose cost-effective projects resulting in equipment and systems that are compatible and consistent with full digital conversion.

NTIA is posting on its Internet site (www.ntia.doc.gov/ptfp), a listing of eligible digital equipment. Printed copies of this list are also available from PTFP at the address shown in the Address section of this document. This list takes into consideration all aspects of full digital conversion and includes equipment for transmission, master control, production studio control, studio production, and field production.

All applications for new, digital facilities or for the replacement of analog equipment with digital equipment will receive equal consideration under the Broadcast Other, Subpriority A or B category, as appropriate. Any application which includes equipment replacement as a justification for the urgency criterion should submit documentation of downtime or other evidence in support of the urgency evaluation criterion as contained in § 2301.17 of the PTFP Final Rules. The need to replace existing equipment in order to maintain ongoing services while also incorporating the replacement digital equipment into the station’s comprehensive digital conversion plan is likely to strengthen the urgency criterion of a digital conversion application.

For applications to be competitive in the Subpriority B category, applicants are urged to include a summary of their plan for full digital conversion and how the requested equipment would be compatible and consistent with that plan. This digital conversion plan should be incorporated into the explanation that addresses the technical qualifications criterion in the application. Failure to provide information on the applicant’s full digital conversion plan will place a television application at a competitive disadvantage during the evaluation of the technical qualification criterion as described in § 2301.17 of the PTFP Final Rules.

Replacement of Analog and Other Equipment. NTIA recognizes that stations may require the urgent replacement of equipment that is not part of a station’s digital conversion plan. Applicants may submit Priority 2 (or Priority 4) applications when appropriate for the urgent replacement of items such as towers or microwave equipment necessary to ensure continued service. (Requests for towers or microwave equipment which are part of a station’s digital conversion plan should be requested under Subpriority B, in the Broadcast Other category.)

Stand-by Power Generators and Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) units. For many years PTFP has funded stand-by power generators and Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) units for existing stations when an applicant has documented a pattern of frequent transmitter power outages accompanied by delayed restoration of power. Station activation projects have included stand-by power equipment only if justified by circumstances at the site where the transmitter was to be installed.

PTFP regards stand-by power generators and uninterruptible power supply units as essential equipment when justified as discussed in this section. Applications seeking such equipment will be placed in Priority 2 or Priority 4A, according to the category in which the applicant otherwise qualifies for equipment replacement projects. (Applications requesting UPS or generators should not be included within digital conversion projects submitted under Broadcast Other Subpriorities A, B, or C.) PTFP is prepared to support only the minimum level of equipment required to keep a station’s signal on the air. Stand-by power for STLs may be funded if their inclusion is justified in the same way as transmitters. Emergency power for origination equipment will be considered in addition to transmission equipment when the applicant demonstrates that such equipment is integral to the emergency service it provides. Applicants requesting UPS or generators must specify (1) whether the requested systems are UPS and/or generators and for which locations they are for (e.g,. master control, transmitter, intermediate microwave site), (2) the KVA rating of the requested system, and what loads are being served, and (3) the size of any additional fuel tanks requested and the number of days of extended operation the fuel tanks would support.
Systems requested for master control would be to power technical facilities required tokeep the station master control on air, including air-conditioning limited to those technicalfacilities.

Stand-by generators and UPS units to provide emergency power to entire facilities are not contemplated for PTFP support. .

In order to be highly competitive, an applicant must support the need for stand-by power by documenting one or more of the following conditions—

(1) the station is part of a state/regional system to which the public is referred by local authorities for information during an emergency, such as an evacuation from a storm or other event; or

(2) the station is a relay point for the distribution of emergency information to get it to transmitters beyond its local coverage area; or

(3) the station is the sole source of emergency information in its service area in contrast to a station that is one of many in an area broadcasting the Emergency Alert System; or

(4) the station has experienced a pattern of frequent transmitter power outages accompanied by delayed restoration of power.

Closed Captioning Equipment. For many years, PTFP has included on the list of eligible costs equipment required to add closed captioning to television programming.
Closed captioning permits people with hearing disabilities to receive news,information and entertainment programming via television. In 1990, Congress enacted theTelevision Decoder Circuitry Act, Pub. L. No. 101-431, 104 Stat. 960 (1990) (codified at 47U.S.C. §§ 303(u), 330(b)), which requires that television receivers with picture screens 13 inchesor larger contain built-in decoder circuitry designed to display closed captioned televisiontransmissions. The Act required the FCC to ensure that closed captioning services continued tobe available to consumers as new technology developed. In 1991, the FCC amended its rules toinclude standards for the display of closed captioned text on analog television receivers. See 47CFR § 15.119. In 2000, the FCC updated its rules to includes closed captioned decoderrequirements for digital television receivers and converter boxes. See 47 CFR § 15.122.

The FCC established a series of graduated benchmarks that increase the amount of closed captioned programming stations must broadcast to their viewers. Beginning January 1, 2006, the FCC required that all new programming broadcast by television stations be captioned. See 47 CFR § 79.1(b)(1). “New programming” is defined by the FCC asprogramming prepared for analog television after January 1, 1998, or programming prepared fordigital television after July 1, 2002. See 47 CFR § 79.1(a)(5). An exception of interest to publictelevision stations includes instructional programming that is locally produced by publictelevision stations for use in grades K-12 and post secondary schools (only covers programmingnarrowly distributed to individual educational institutions). See 47 CFR § 79.1(d)(13).

Because of this requirement, public television stations are now required to broadcast almost all programming with closed captions, including locally produced programs.

As a result, PTFP will now regard closed captioning equipment as essential equipment. Applications seeking such equipment will be placed in Priority 2 or Priority 4A, according to the category in which the applicant otherwise qualifies for equipment replacement projects.

(3) Effective date for expenditure of local matching funds for digital television conversion projects.

Applicants will be required to follow Section 2301.6(d) of the PTFP Final Rules, in that applicants will be able to expend their local matching funds only after the Closing Date for this grant round.

Section 2301.6(b)(2) of the PTFP Final Rules permits an applicant to use equipment acquired prior to the Closing Date for receipt of applications “on a case-by-case basis only when clear and compelling justifications are provided to PTFP.” NTIA also notes that, as discussed in paragraph (5) below, funds received from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting can be used as local matching funds only in circumstances of “clear and compelling need” (15 CFR § 2301.6(c)(2)). Applications requesting special assistance pursuant to § 2301.6(b) or (c) of the PTFP Final Rules for digital transmission equipment will be evaluated on the basis of need on a case-by-case basis.

(4) Funding levels for television projects. For FY 2010, NTIA will continue the general presumption of 50 percent Federal funding for television replacement, improvement and augmentation projects, which is in accordance with Section 2301.6(b)(1)(ii) of the PTFP Final Rules.

NTIA recognizes that many small stations, primarily in rural areas, will be unable to raise even a 50 percent local share of the funds required for their PTFP projects. NTIA has long permitted stations to request more than the standard level of Federal support upon a showing of “extraordinary need” per Section 2301.6(b)(1)(ii) of the PTFP Final Rules. NTIA will continue to permit any applicant to provide justification that it has an “extraordinary need” for Federal funding up to the legal limit of 75 percent of eligible project costs. Justification for the increased amount will be evaluated by PTFP.

Because of the emphasis NTIA places on the extension of broadcast services to unserved areas, NTIA has retained the 75 percent level of Federal funding for applications proposing new television facilities in Priority 1 (§ 2301.4(b)(1)) of the PTFP Final Rules.

(5) Use of Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) matching funds. Under the PTFP Rules, NTIA has limited the use of CPB funds for the non-federal share of PTFP projects to circumstances of “clear and compelling need” (15 CFR § 2301.6(c)(2)). NTIA recognizes that it will be difficult for many public television stations to raise the funds required to meet the FCC’s digital broadcasting deadlines. Therefore, NTIA continues its past policy that applicants may submit justification under this section for the use of CPB funds as part of their local match. Any request for the use of CPB funds must be accompanied by a statement regarding any limitations that CPB has placed on the expenditure of those funds.

(6) Coordination with CPB and the Rural Utilities Service (RUS), U.S. Department of Agriculture. NTIA is aware that CPB and RUS have grant programs focused on projects to convert public television stations to digital broadcasting. In order to facilitate application processing by the three organizations, applicants for PTFP funds must clearly identify in their application whether they have applied to CPB or RUS for funding and list the equipment requested from CPB or RUS. The submission of an application to CPB or RUS will have no effect on NTIA’s evaluation of the PTFP application. It is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure that no PTFP-funded equipment is funded by another of these grant programs.

4. Distance Learning and Nonbroadcast Projects

Since 1979, NTIA has funded nonbroadcast distance learning projects through the Special Applications category as established in § 2301.4(a) of the PTFP Final Rules. NTIA encourages applications for innovative or unique distance learning projects which address demonstrated and substantial community needs. For fiscal year 2009, NTIA awarded $50,142 in funds to one grantee for a distance learning project.

The growth of digital technologies provides new opportunities for distance learning projects using both broadcast and nonbroadcast facilities. NTIA encourages applicants to consider the use of digital technologies in proposing unique or innovative distance learning projects for funding in FY 2010. Examples of innovative digital applications include projects that (1) use broadband technologies for distance learning, (2) distribute educational or informational programming via Direct Broadcast Satellite technologies, (3) provide multi-media content using the digital television transmission infrastructure and delivered through a method that is not a typical broadcast channel, or (4) incorporate video, voice, graphics and data capabilities for online distance learning services. NTIA also encourages applicants to consider broadcast projects which use the multi-channel capacity of digital television to provide innovative distance learning projects.

All PTFP distance learning applications must address substantial and demonstrated needs of the communities being served. NTIA is particularly interested in distance learning projects which benefit traditionally underserved audiences, such as projects serving minorities, people living in rural communities, or those living in disadvantaged areas where distance learning services will provide significant educational opportunities.

NTIA recognizes that, due to the multi-channel capability of digital television broadcast stations, distance learning components may well be a part of a broadcast television digital conversion application. NTIA will, therefore, consider such distance learning proposals under the subpriorities established in the section related to Television Broadcasting and Digital Conversion. If NTIA determines that a broadcast distance learning project is not part of a digital conversion application, NTIA will evaluate the application pursuant to §§ 2301.4(b)(6) and 2301.17 of the PTFP Final Rules.

The November 22, 1991, PTFP Policy Statement (56 FR 59168 (1991)) mentioned in the Application Forms and Regulations section discussed a number of issues of particular relevance to applicants proposing nonbroadcast educational and instructional projects and potential improvement of nonbroadcast facilities. These policies remain in effect and will be available to all PTFP applicants as part of the Guidelines for preparing FY 2010 PTFP applications.

NTIA also calls applicants’ attention to opportunities for funding broadband projects that may qualify for NTIA’s Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP) or the RUS Broadband Initiatives Program (BIP). BTOP will provide grants to fund broadband infrastructure, public computer centers, and sustainable broadband adoption projects. BIP will make loans and grants for broadband infrastructure projects in rural areas. Information about these programs and the deadline for filing applications will be found at the following Internet site: http://www.broadbandusa.gov.

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