Milwaukee Area Technical College (MATC) announced that it will receive one-time proceeds of $84,931,314 as a result of its voluntary participation in the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) broadcast incentive auction.
The auction was created to free up bandwidth to accommodate the growing capacity needs for wireless technology. MATC’s District Board, the license holder for Milwaukee PBS Channels 10 and 36, submitted a successful bid to vacate the spectrum on which Channel 36 resided and instead combine the transmission of both Milwaukee PBS stations, Channels 10 and 36, on its remaining very high frequency (VHF) channel spectrum. There will be no impact on the viewing experience of Milwaukee PBS Channels 10 and 36 as a result of the auction outcome.
“This was a strategic decision for MATC, Milwaukee PBS and the diverse communities that we serve” said MATC President Dr. Vicki J. Martin. “These funds will have a lasting impact on MATC’s continued ability to meet the greater Milwaukee region’s needs in the areas of educational attainment, workforce demand, and building the talent pipeline for high-demand careers. At the same time, the auction proceeds will support Milwaukee PBS, which broadcasts award-winning local and national programming to more than 600,000 viewers on a weekly basis.”
Every broadcast station in the United States had the opportunity to participate in the voluntary FCC auction. MATC anticipates it will receive the auction proceeds in late 2017 or early 2018, and the MATC District Board and college leadership are currently reviewing investment strategy options that will maximize the impact of the proceeds for the long-term benefit of the college, Milwaukee PBS and the community. “We are carefully considering the best investment strategy and process to leverage this one-time infusion of funds to benefit generations to come,” Martin added.
The proceeds will be utilized to advance MATC’s educational mission of transforming lives, industry and community. Strategic priorities include:
- ensuring the continued financial sustainability of MATC and Milwaukee PBS;
- addressing workforce needs and closing the skills gap;
- making a college education affordable and accessible for more people; and
- continuing high-quality community and educational programming on Milwaukee PBS.
“Milwaukee PBS will continue to provide high-quality programming to our viewers in southeastern Wisconsin and northern Illinois. These proceeds will ensure we have the necessary technological infrastructure to meet our viewers’ needs,” said Milwaukee PBS General Manager Bohdan Zachary. “In a time of unprecedented media choices, we are grateful to our loyal viewers for continuing to choose Milwaukee PBS for objective news reporting and high-quality educational programming.”