BRATTLEBORO—While Vermont Public Radio is the most listened-to radio station in Brattleboro, according to broadcasting rating services, some listeners to VPR have said they have a hard time picking up its signal.
Reception of VPR’s main frequency for southern Vermont, WVPR 89.5 FM, can be spotty at best, depending on where you are in Windham County.
That will change later this summer when VPR puts a new frequency, WVBA 88.9 FM, into service to carry its news and talk programming.
“VPR’s current signal reaches north, well into Canada, east into New Hampshire, west into New York State, and south into Bennington, but not well into the Brattleboro area,” said Robin Turneau, president and CEO of Vermont Public Radio. “Windham County residents have been asking VPR for decades to provide them with a clearer, stronger signal so that they can participate in the statewide conversations that VPR convenes.”
The tower of WVBA, a Class B1 station, will be located near the Brattleboro/Guilford town line, and broadcast with an effective radiated power of 8,900 watts, according to data from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).
Turneau said that WVBA will serve 32,000 Vermonters, 16,000 of whom currently do not have access to VPR. The station’s signal will extend west towards Wilmington, north towards Bellows Falls, east towards Keene N.H., and south to Greenfield, Mass.
Once that goes on the air, Turneau said the current 10-watt translator frequency in Brattleboro at 94.5 FM will be used for VPR Classical’s programming.
VPR applied for the Brattleboro frequency in the fall of 2007, during a brief window of opportunity provided by the FCC for community, religious, and public broadcasters to apply for new channel allocation in the 88-92 section of the FM band. It was granted a construction permit three years later.
WVBA will become VPR’s 13th full-power station. It also operates 11 low-power translator frequencies that rebroadcast signals from the full power stations to provide better coverage in areas that have unreliable reception.
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