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The mission of the Public Telecommunications Facilities Program (PTFP), a division of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), is to assist, through matching grants, in the planning and construction of public telecommunications facilities.  In 1989, NTIA released a study documenting the extent of public radio and television coverage in the United States.  The study, instituted at the direction of Congress, included an analysis of how areas without public radio might gain coverage.  This landmark study has been used extensively by stations and local organizations to plan construction of new facilities or expand the coverage of existing ones. 

Since 1989, PTFP has awarded over 550 radio grants to improve signal coverage.  Over the past fifteen years, many people have suggested the need to update information from the 1989 study as the number of public radio stations greatly increased and the FM reserved channels became more crowded.  The results of this updated study will be useful to those planning new public radio facilities and to PTFP when examining grant applications which propose to extend signal coverage.

This new radio study was conducted between September 2003 and January 2004.  Unless otherwise stated, it represents a snapshot of public radio at the end of September 2003.   Contained in the study are state coverage maps for public FM stations, AM stations and associated translators.  Coverage analysis for each state and national maps are also included.  Efforts were made to follow the criteria of the 1989 study.   

NTIA acknowledges the generous assistance of many public broadcasting professionals across the country that provided valuable contributions throughout this project.  Staff members of national associations provided the original lists of stations and translators.  Regional and state associations provided guidance and insight into stations and issues. We specially thank the staff at the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the National Federation of Community Broadcasters and National Public Radio (NPR) for their information and assistance.  We appreciate the help of NPR’s Mike Starling and Jan Andrews in providing the AM maps included in the study.

The staff involved in this study includes Bernadette McGuire-Rivera, Ph.D., Associate Administrator, PTFP Director William Cooperman, Program Officers Lynn Chadwick, Larry Dyer, Robert Sestili, Walter Sheppard and Sonia Warriner. Project managers were Brian Gibbons and Madison Hodges.

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