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Wired West: Free TV in rural Alaska will go dark without $5.3M upgrade #JustStreamIt #700mhz

Logo of the United States Federal Communicatio...
Logo of the United States Federal Communications Commission, used on their website and some publications since the early 2000s. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Jill Burke
April 4, 2013

Since the early 1980s, a patchwork of broadcast transmitters across Alaska have captured a mish-mash satellite feed in order to deliver free, over-the-air television into the homes of the state's smallest communities. Recognized as a crucial service that connects approximately 230 small or isolated communities to the blitz of information most urban residents take for granted – sitcoms, politics, local and national news, government, sports, weather, emergency announcements – Alaska invested in equipment to ensure rural citizens had a media window to the world......

....... without a $5.3-million-dollar investment by the Alaska Legislature, this free blend of public, commercial, emergency and educational programming is at risk of going dark. Low-power television stations across the nation are under a Federal Communications Commission mandate to upgrade from an analog signal to digital delivery by Sept. 1, 2015. “After that date, analog TV will no longer exist in the United States,” the FCC states on its website, although it's not clear how the FCC will enforce the deadline.....