Friday, April 18, 2008

HCJB granted extension on shortwave antennas

HCJB Global Voice in Ecuador has been granted an extension to continue using its shortwave radio antennas that are scheduled for dismantling and removal from the mission’s international transmission site near Pifo, a town 18 miles east of Quito.

The extension postpones, for at least six months, removals that the station agreed to two years earlier with the Quito Airport Corporation (CORPAQ) to make way for a new international airport. Once the new facility is completed, some of the shortwave station’s antenna towers could obstruct the approach of landing planes. “Specifically, this means that we can continue broadcasting on two shortwave frequencies to Brazil,” said Doug Weber, radio director for the Latin America Region. “Two frequencies allows us to better cover Brazil. With two, we can cover both north and south Brazil.”
The mission agreed that 30 towers would be removed by December 2007. The first phase of dismantling, initiated in early 2006, saw 18 towers lowered. HCJB Global’s engineering staff was poised to remove 12 more towers in the second phase. But Weber was informed that CORPAQ granted the mission’s request for continued use of those 12 towers, along with 18 others that will not impede approaching aircraft. “It also means we can continue with test transmissions of digital shortwave signals to Europe and other countries while opening the way to digital shortwave broadcasting to Brazil,” Weber said, adding that while European listener replies to the digital broadcasts are few, the listeners report a strong signal. HCJB Global Voice is conducting German-language digital shortwave broadcasts as a member of the Digital Radio Mondiale (DRM) consortium [1100-1200 UTC on 15275 kHz]. In addition, on 26 January the pioneer missionary broadcaster inaugurated a daily, one-hour DRM program stream in Portuguese [2300-2400 UTC on 11795 kHz] created especially for the digital shortwave format. Weber said the programs are recorded by staff members at the HCJB Global-Brazil office in Curitiba.
(Source: HCJB Global via Radio Netherlands Media Network via NASB, April 2008)