Fraser Rec District increases repair funds for TV translator
The Fraser Valley Metropolitan Recreation District board of directors unanimously voted on July 24 to spend at most another $4,000 on maintenance this year for the district’s analog TV translators.
The original maintenance budget of $1,000 has already been spent.
During the discussion of the TV translator system it was mentioned that more repairs are anticipated for the future as the translators become older.
There are 75-100 estimated users of the analog TV system, which is roughly 2 percent of Rec. District residents.
A line of sight is required in order to receive the signals from the translator, which is located at the top of the Iron Horse lift on Mary Jane.
The line-of-sight requirement means the service is not available to all residents.
“While there are some people who say this is the only way they see the tax dollars they pay through the Rec. District, there are people who pay those tax dollars who don’t receive the service,” said Scott Ledin, director of Parks and Recreation for the District.
The future of the system is still uncertain. Most analog signals across the country have been phased out, but switching to digital would cost around $80,000.
The Federal Communications Commission will likely establish a deadline to achieve the digital transition of low power TV stations such as this by the end of September 2015.
Options for the future of the system are being examined by the TV Translator Committee.
The system was originally put in place to serve as an emergency monitoring and information avenue for residents of the Fraser Valley who, prior to the installation of the system, did not have another way to receive such information.
Now that people have increased access to the internet and other forms of outside communication, the option to let people receive their news, emergency warnings and other information via streaming online content has become a possibility.
Community broadband is one option the committee and town officials are investigating further.
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