Stations in Alabama, Texas and Alaska receive $1.3 million from Next Gen Warning System

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CPB announced three more stations that will receive federal funding to upgrade their equipment and capacity to transmit enhanced emergency alerts.

Alabama Public Television; KLRN in San Antonio, Texas; and KYUK in Bethel, Alaska, received grants from the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Next Generation Warning System program.

“The Next Generation Warning System grant program is providing funding for public media organizations, especially in rural areas, to replace and upgrade their technology and infrastructure that enhances critical alerting and warning capabilities to help protect those communities,” said CPB President Pat Harrison in a news release.

Alabama Public Television will receive up to $529,558 to purchase hardware and software that will allow the state network to transition to the ATSC 3.0 broadcast standard. The upgrade to Next Gen TV will enable the network to broadcast emergency alerts, including live video, to targeted devices.

KLRN-TV, through its operator the Alamo Public Telecommunications Council, will receive up to $551,426 to replace an aging antenna. The station is in the process of adopting the ATSC 3.0 standard.

Bethel Broadcasting, which operates Alaska’s dual licensee KYUK, secured a grant of up to $277,292 to buy a TV encoder, UPS battery backups, gateway VPN devices and an updated DASDEC III encoder for all broadcast formats.

“FEMA is committed to building resilience by rapidly disseminating emergency communications to the public through diverse integrated pathways,” said FEMA IPAWS Director Manny Centeno, in the news release. “FEMA’s Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS) provides a suite of tools and resources for local authorities to effectively send emergency communications to the public. We continue developing the Next Generation Warning System concept as we improve continuity and leverage new technologies, such as ATSC 3.0, that can reach the public wherever they are.”

Approximately $34 million of the $40 million appropriated for the NGWS in fiscal year 2022 will be awarded to stations. An additional $56 million was allocated to the initiative in FY23.

Last year, CPB awarded a total of $386,000 to Mississippi Public Broadcasting and IRSC Public Media, licensed to Indian River State College in Florida. The stations used the grants to improve equipment and expand their reach into underserved communities. Earlier this month, CPB announced four more stations in Alaska, Colorado and Michigan would receive grants  that  totalled $1.2 million.

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