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On September 22, 2008, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) awarded $21,645,000 on a reimbursement basis to New York’s Metropolitan Television Alliance (MTVA) for phase two of the NYC 9/11 Digital Television Transition project. Phase two continues the design, deployment, and operation of a temporary digital television broadcast system into 2012, for eleven television stations throughout the New York City area.

The first phase of the project, for which NTIA awarded $7,855,000 by reimbursement on March 22, 2007, to design and test a prototype system to provide fill-in, over-the-air digital television coverage in areas of New York and New Jersey where adequate coverage is not provided.  Phase one of the project included four distributed transmission sites, over 100 test measurement sites, and was completed in June 2008.

The Metropolitan Television Alliance (MTVA) is a consortium of New York City television stations that was formed after September 11, 2001, when the television stations’ transmission facilities were destroyed in the collapse of the North Tower of the World Trade Center. The television stations then installed temporary transmission facilities on top of the Empire State Building, which is not a sufficiently suitable site for the distribution of digital television signals.

The Deficit Reduction Act of 2005, which established the digital television transition deadline, provided up to $30 million to reimburse MTVA for the design and deployment costs of the temporary digital television broadcast system in the New York City area until a permanent facility is constructed on top of the Freedom Tower.

The New York City area for this project includes the New York counties of Bronx, Kings, New York, Queens, and Richmond; and the New Jersey counties of Bergen, Essex, Union, and Hudson.

The distributed transmission system is intended to provide adequate digital television signals in the New York City area on a temporary basis, and the results of conducting testing and measurements of the system will also be beneficial in serving as a model or a potentially applicable system for other, similar urban settings.

NYC 9/11 Digital Television Transition Project
NTIA Grant #36-36-D07911
Metropolitan Television Alliance, LLC (MTVA)
Report on Phase One: Field Test Results for the New York City Prototype Distributed Transmission System


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