Grant to help with upgrades for Maine Public Broadcasting Network | News

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Grant to help with upgrades for Maine Public Broadcasting Network

BANGOR, Maine (NEWS CENTER) --- Viewers and listeners of Maine Public Broadcasting Network are in store for some good news. M.P.B.N. is now looking to make upgrades to improve its radio and TV signals around the state thanks in large part to a federal grant.

M.P.B.N. is getting $750,000 through the U.S. Dept of Agriculture's Rural Development Program. It is one of 10 public media outlets in the country to be awarded the grant. The money will go to replace 26 microwave transmitters the network has around Maine as well as an additional 28 microwave receivers.

Officials say the end result will be a more reliable signal based around a computerized network. The director of 'Rural Development' says the organization wanted to get support to M.P.B.N. to keep public media going especially in rural parts of the state.

"We feel the combination of the reach of M.P.B.N. and also the quality of the programming...the relevancy of the programming is one reason why we're totally supportive of Maine's public television network," said Virginia Manuel, who is the state director for Rural Development.

"It's {the grant} really gonna help us maintain and keep our service strong here in the state of Maine," said Charles Beck, who is the vice president of M.P.B.A. radio and television, "serving the rural population that we do in reaching all corners of the state."

The network is planning to begin testing equipment for the upgrade by late spring. Officials are hoping to have it finished by this summer.