By: Jay Martin
While it’s been nearly a year since hurricanes Irma and Maria hit Puerto Rico, most TV stations remain dark due to widespread destruction of the country’s infrastructure and power grid.
“While the spectrum repack is challenging for all U.S. broadcasters, those in our ‘51st state’ are starting from scratch,” said Jay Martin, Dielectric’s VP of Sales. “During the intense storms, many of their TV towers collapsed, and essential infrastructure for fiber networks, microwave links, and electrical power was damaged. Those that escaped damage managed to stay on the air provided they can fuel their generators during regular power outages.”
To help these stations resume broadcast services to their local communities—and meet the FCC’s accelerated “pre-Phase 1” deadline of August 1, 2018—we’ve expedited orders for 10 spectrum repack antennas, plus one to replace a storm-damaged antenna.
These repack orders, which are in various stages of manufacturing and shipping, include: mid-to-high power, side-mount UHF antennas from the TFU Series; and TLP Series antenna from our Powerlite UHF low-power family. We also shipped the necessary RF filters and components to OEMs for these systems.
“We’ve been proactively checking with Puerto Rican broadcasters to determine how we can help, and diligently generating technical proposals for antenna systems that can withstand category 5 force winds and other extreme weather conditions,” Martin adds.
While 80 percent of the orders were from long-term Dielectric customers, Martin explained that we won over some new broadcasters due to our responsiveness and painstaking attention to detail.
“When you go through many design iterations and reach ‘rev 6’ of the proposal process, the customer realizes how dedicated you are to meeting their needs,” Martin said. “We’re honored to help our broadcast friends in Puerto Rico so they can get back on the air as quickly as possible.”