CPB will review stations’ technology needs, look to fill gaps

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Some stations’ equipment is getting pretty old. (Photo: Cardiff Council Flat Holm Project via Wikimedia Commons)

CPB will conduct a survey of production and distribution equipment housed at public broadcasting stations starting this summer.

The project comes at a time when stations’ technological needs could grow, but funding is tight. In 2011, Congress ended funding for the $20 million Public Telecommunications Facilities Program, which funded capital purchases. That left stations with “few funding options” for replacing equipment, CPB said in its request for proposals Monday.

Also, the repacking of spectrum after the FCC auction, the upcoming introduction of the ATSC 3.0 broadcast standard, and a new station interconnection system could all require stations to get different equipment, and more of it.

CPB will ask stations about the state of their current equipment and their plans to pay for replacements and upgrades. The survey aims to identify funding gaps and possible solutions.

“The results of this work will inform CPB’s decision-making as we work to assist stations, and the system as a whole, keep up with technological changes and develop future operating models,” the RFP said.

Work is expected to begin in June and conclude by Dec. 31, with an optional six-month extension.

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