POLICY BRIEF: INTERCONNECTION FUNDING
- Local public broadcasting stations request funding of $55 million in FY 2018 for the interconnection system.
For more than 20 years Congress has provided separate, multi-year funding for public broadcasting's interconnection systems -- the backbone of public broadcasting.
Public television's lease on the current interconnection system is coming to an end and we greatly appreciate that Congress provided much needed funds in FY 2016, and has supported such funds in FY 2017 appropriations legislation, to undertake the multi-year process of renewing and updating our interconnection system. These funds help ensure continued public television service is available for free to all Americans, particularly those in the most rural and remote regions.
The public television interconnection system is used by PBS, other national public television distributors, State and regional public television networks, individual stations and individual producers to distribute television programming and related materials to the 170 noncommercial, educational licensees in all 50 States, the District of Columbia and U.S. territories.
In addition, public television's work supporting national alert and warning communications depends on a well-functioning interconnection system that takes advantage of technical innovation.
FY 2018 funding is needed to continue the critical work that is now underway which, in addition to connecting stations with PBS and other national content distributors, will allow for greater collaborations among stations -- enhancing partnership opportunities for programming, education and public safety initiatives.