WASHINGTON– U.S. state-owned TV stations released a statement praising the House Supply Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies for recommending advance funding of $ 565 million for public broadcasting in fiscal year 2024.
“This is an important day for public television,” said Patrick Butler, president and CEO of US public television. “We have lost $ 100 million in purchasing power over 10 years of uniform federal funding, and this legislation would go a long way to restore that purchasing power – and with it our ability to provide educational services, public safety communications. , civic literacy, and beloved programming that millions of Americans need and enjoy.
Butler also noted that the APTS was pleased that “the subcommittee recommended level funding of $ 20 million in fiscal year 2022 for the annual station interconnection account, which is the backbone of the public broadcasting system, supporting nationwide emergency alerts, providing local stations with national programming. , connecting stations to each other and creating operational efficiencies.
The importance of public broadcasting was underlined during the pandemic, when it played an important role in providing distance learning to students when in-person classes were canceled, the group said.
“Public television data broadcasting has been used to deliver IP data over the broadcast television signal to provide digital educational resources to students without a broadband connection, thereby helping to bridge the digital divide and bridge the gap between homework, ”Butler said.
The group also noted that “America’s public television stations are ready to do more, to help revolutionize education in a post-pandemic America, to train more American adults for better jobs, to provide services. of public safety communication more essential, to create an environment of more knowledgeable citizens who view issues in a civil and constructive manner, and to use part of our licensed spectrum to do more to improve telehealth, national security, smart city connections, efficient transportation, precision farming and more.
Such services may become more available as public stations deploy ATSC 3.0 signals. NAB and Howard University recently demonstrated a prototype distance learning using NextGen TV broadcasts.