Rahall Announces Federal Funding for W.Va. Public Broadcasting

Press Release

Date: Oct. 22, 2014
Location: Beckley, WV

U.S. Rep. Nick Rahall (D-W.Va.) Wednesday announced the West Virginia Educational Broadcasting Authority has been awarded a $750,000 Public Television Grant to make broadband and other advanced communications infrastructure improvements in southern West Virginia. Congress reauthorized the public television grant program in the 2014 Farm Bill, which Rahall strongly supported and worked to successfully pass earlier this year.

"Public television has responsibly delivered early childhood education to generations of West Virginians right in their own homes. Having brought the artistic works of great masters, insights of revered historians, and the richness of world-renowned symphonies into our living rooms, public broadcasting has proven an invaluable tool for bettering our lives and broadening our minds," said Rahall. "I was delighted to support this funding to help this remarkable resource reach more children and families in West Virginia."

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Utilities Service (RUS) awarded the Digital Transition Public Television Grant to the West Virginia Educational Authority to revamp and transition its Beckley television studio from analog to high definition digital equipment to function as a community resource, both as a bricks and mortar production facility and mobile studio, and to enhance production quality and expand programming for schools and communities across the southern region.

USDA RUS grants are made available to establish broadband service in rural areas to boost economic growth and offer education, health care, social and public safety benefits. The funding helps public television stations serving rural areas acquire the equipment they need to transition from analog to digital broadcasts. Telecommunications infrastructure loans help maintain, upgrade or expand rural telecommunications networks.