FROM CONCEPT TO CREATION
July 2010 –Mark Erstling, Senior Vice President Media Strategies and System Development for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting at that time, came to meet with the Florida Public Broadcasting General Managers at its(FPBS) meeting to inform the Florida stations of the opportunity for a grant for the creation of a centralized Master Control. Almost immediately, under the leadership of FPBS Chair, Rick Schneider, the organization set out to apply for the grant.
October 2010 – WJCT (Jacksonville) delivered to WMFE (Orlando) a proposal for the merging of their broadcast operations which would have resulted in WMFE saving better than $1 million over four years. Through the development of that proposal the management and engineers of WJCT came to appreciate that a joint master control operation (per se) was not the foundation for a system that would support significant capacity.
February 2011 – A group of FPBS stations came together to submit a preliminary grant application to CPB. CPB conditionally accepted the application pending the receipt of three critical pieces: 1) the potential savings the stations would realize over a specified period of time; 2) the governance structure of the initiative; and 3) details relating to the service provider…the facility, organizational structure, fiber connectivity, operational processes, etc.
July 2011 – WJCT (in partnership with Level(3), the network provider, and Cologix, the hardened facility where the network operation would be housed) made a presentation to the FPBS member stations where they introduced a proposed technical plan for the creation of a centralized master control operation as well as the concept of creating the Digital Convergence Alliance (DCA), the umbrella under which the members would come together for this and other such collaborative ventures. At this meeting it was agreed that WJCT should take the lead in developing and submitting a revised application for the CPB grant.
August 2011 – The revised application was submitted to CPB which incorporated WJCT’s technical plan to service 34 channels. Nine Florida and one west coast station signed the application.
March 2012 – CPB conditionally awarded the DCA a grant of up to $7 million for the construction of a centralized master control facility. Shortly after the notification of the award a number of the applicants withdrew.
June 2012 – The Digital Convergence Alliance held its inaugural meeting at which time the founding members approved its Articles of Incorporation and bylaws as well as formally including five new stations as members of the DCA bringing the reconfigured roster to eight (but not yet significant enough in number to proceed with the execution of the CPB grant contract.)
September 2012 – WILL joins as the ninth member of the DCA
November 2012 – WUCF joins as the tenth member of the DCA. With the inclusion of WUCF the DCA is now in a position to accept the CPB grant and begins contract negotiations. WJCT is contracted by WUCF to provide broadcast operations support until such time the DCA is operational.
January 2013 –KERA replaces WUSF as the tenth member of the DCA.
March 2013 –The Service Level Agreements binding the ten members to the use of the services of the DCA and as signatories to the CPB contract are executed.
April 2013 – The CPB/DCA contract is executed.
July 2013 – Milwaukee Public Television joins as the eleventh member of the DCA and the members approve the recommendation of the DCA Technology Committee to proceed in negotiations with Miranda Technical (“Miranda”) as the principle equipment supplier and Technical Innovation, LLC (“TIBSG”) as the systems integrator.
September 2013 –Contracts with TIBSG, were executed and the assembly of the entire hub/spoke system began at TIBSG’s facility in Norcross, Georgia
January 2014 –TIBSG delivers the “hub” system to Cologix, the hardened facility in Jacksonville and begins delivery of the “spokes” to the member stations.
March 2014 – WJCT went online and within five days of the move shuttered its existing master control facility.
May 2014 –KERA (Dallas) and WILL (Champaign, IL) are brought online.
June – August 2014 – The remaining member stations are to be brought online after a period of no less than ten days of parallel operation.
The DCA Network Operations Center is a service of the Digital Convergence Alliance.