Most US TV stations are in the process of altering their broadcast spectrum licenses, resulting in channel changes, shared tech, and, in some cases, buyouts

Featured Article

2018.04.17, Tuesday

Rulemaking Will Set Out Repack Reimbursement Process

[Source: Radio World]

The FCC is freeing up another $742 million for the post-incentive auction repack pot available to TV broadcasters. Eligible entities will now have access to a total of $1.742 billion for expenses related to post-auction construction costs.

But radio stations affected by the TV tower work are still waiting to learn how to apply for relief.

The FCC’s Media Bureau’s Public Notice on Monday detailed the “further allocation” for the TV Broadcaster Relocation Fund. The money is from the original $1.75 billion  Congress required the commission to set aside for full-power and Class A TV stations.

FM radio broadcasters facing disruption to services or relocation expenses due to re-pack TV tower work are in line to receive money for “any unintended and unavoidable costs” incurred as part of money authorized by Congress in Ray Baum’s Act last month, “which included another $750 million for full-power and Class A TV stations, $150 million for low-power TV and TV translator stations, and $50 million for FM radio stations.”

How will stations be able to access that money? According to a statement from the commission, “The FCC is preparing for a rulemaking that will determine procedures and eligible costs for the new entities eligible for reimbursement, including FM radio stations.”

The NAB originally projected the repack’s financial impact on radio at $50 million. The broadcast association says some 600 FMs could be affected by the work, which will continue through 2020, based on a study it commissioned from V-Soft Corp.

NAB Executive VP of Communications Dennis Wharton said in a statement: “NAB welcomes the FCC making significant additional repack reimbursement funding available following passage of the recent appropriations legislation and Ray Baum’s Act authorizing additional funding if needed. We look forward to continuing to work productively with the commission to ensure that broadcasters are fully reimbursed and that stations are not forced to reduce service due to circumstances outside their control.”

The FCC on Monday also reaffirmed that the 39-month post-auction transition period remains unchanged and will not be extended.

Recent News from Around the Web

In Missouri, investigation of tower accident continues as station seeks to restore service

[Source: Current] …OPT had hired LeMay to reinforce the 47-year-old tower in preparation for a $3.4 million project to repack the station’s RF channel from 23 to 16, a switch required due to shuffling of spectrum caused by last year’s FCC ...

T-Mobile & Sprint Merger to Accelerate 5G Innovation & Deployment in US

[Source: Everything RF] …With Sprint’s expansive 2.5 GHz spectrum, T-Mobile’s nationwide 600 MHz spectrum, and other combined assets, the New T-Mobile plans to create the highest capacity mobile network in U.S. history. Compared to ...

Sprint: Millimeter wave spectrum is ‘important part of our strategy going forward’

[Source: Fierce Wireless News] …Sprint has not purchased any spectrum in any of the FCC’s major spectrum auctions for at least the past decade. Specifically, Sprint has sat on the sidelines of the FCC’s 700 MHz, AWS-3 and 600 MHz spectrum ...

After $82M sale, PBS39 starting new Lehigh Valley journalism initiative

[Source: Lehigh Valley Live] …PBS39 is investing in the [“Reporter Corps”] program following its $82 million windfall a year ago from its participation in the Federal Communications Commission’s sale of broadcast ...

NYU Wireless founder expects big appetite for millimeter wave spectrum this fall

[Source: Fierce Wireless News] …T-Mobile is going to use the 600 MHz spectrum it got from last year’s incentive auction as a foundation for its 5G network, but most carriers are expected to use low-, mid- and high-band spectrum for 5G. If ...

T-Mobile beats Q1 expectations, raises customer growth goals for 2018

[Source: Fierce Wireless News] …On Twitter, CTO Neville Ray added that deployments of T-Mobile’s 600 MHz continue “in earnest,” with 823 cities in 31 states now covered. He said that, between T-Mobile’s 600 MHz and 700 MHz spectrum, the ...

Sprint announces highest profit ever after saying it needs T-Mobile merger

[Source: Ars Technica] …Sprint and T-Mobile spectrum will be complementary in building a 5G network together, Claure also said. T-Mobile is “deploying their 5G network on 600MHz and we’re deploying ours on 2.5GHz,” he ...

What dangers lie in wait for the T-Mobile/Sprint marriage?

[Source: Telecom TV] …With Sprint’s expansive 2.5 GHz spectrum, T-Mobile’s nationwide 600 MHz spectrum, and other combined assets, the New T-Mobile plans to create the highest capacity mobile network in U.S. history. “Compared to ...

CMU creates grant from TV station auction funds

[Source: The Morning Sun] …Named after CMU’s first president, Charles Bellows, the new grant will be funded by a portion of the $14 million in proceeds received from the Federal Communications Commission broadcast spectrum auction of WCMU ...

T-Mobile-Sprint merger could lead to more IoT innovation

[Source: M2M Zone] …T-Mobile US is already building out the 4G LTE network on a huge scale in rural areas based on the mobile frequencies acquired last year in the 600MHz range. By doing this, the company is expanding into regions with ...