Rogers State University’s television station has been awarded a three-year grant to help fund the station’s conversion to a digital transmission signal as required by federal law.
The Public Television Facilities Program (PTFP) grant, which is expected to total more than $693,000, is funded by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration.
The University of Oklahoma’s Board of Regents – RSU’s governing body – approved the grant’s first installment of $389,444 during its meeting Monday in Claremore. The remaining installments of $128,600 and $175,340 will be reviewed prior to distribution during the next two years.
The state of Oklahoma has previously appropriated $1.04 million for the project. The state appropriations combined with the PTFP grant will fully fund the $1.7 million digital conversion.
In 2000, the Federal Communications Commission mandated that all broadcast stations convert their signals from analog to digital transmissions by 2006. Under the federal requirements, RSU-TV is required to complete this conversion by May 1, 2003. With the funding now secured, the station expects to make that deadline, said Virgle Smith, RSU TV general manager.
To convert to digital transmission, RSU-TV will be required to purchase a new transmitter and antenna, which will be installed at the site of its current main tower six miles north of Claremore.
Converting to digital transmission will enable the station to carry more information within its signal, which will allow for better picture and sound quality than currently available. In addition, the technology can also be used to transmit large amounts of other data that users could access using their computer or television set.
RSU-TV broadcasts at 2.75 million watts and reaches an audience of about 1.2 million people within a 75-mile radius. The station is Oklahoma’s only full-powered television station operated on a public university campus. RSU-TV is a key component to RSU’s distance learning programs, which includes telecourses and live interactive programming.
RSU-TV broadcasts under the call letters KRSC on UHF channel 35, Claremore and Tulsa cable channel 19, and more than 70 cable systems in northeastern Oklahoma and southern Kansas.