08.03.2007 10:13 AM
Sprint Nextel to cover BAS relocation costs of secondary TV stations

Sprint Nextel will reimburse the expenses of eligible secondary TV station licensees, including LPTV, TV translator and stations operating under the FCC 720-hour rule, for the costs associated with relocating TV Broadcast Auxiliary Service (BAS) from the 1990MHz-2025MHz band, the company said.

The Aug. 1 announcement comes following a clarification from the FCC this spring that the telecommunications company would be allowed to deduct the expense of moving these stations’ BAS operations from any amount Sprint-Nextel owes the U.S. Treasury once the elaborate frequency swap involving spectrum used for wireless telephony, public safety and electronic newsgathering is complete.

According to the Association for Maximum Service Television (MSTV) president David Donovan, Nextel — prior to its acquisition by Sprint — initially interpreted FCC rules covering the BAS frequency relocation project as excluding secondary TV stations. The trade group, however, saw Nextel’s interpretation as too narrow and made filings with the FCC to clarify the matter.

In the spring, the FCC affirmed that Sprint Nextel is not required to reimburse the costs of relocating secondary stations that are BAS licensees, but may do so at its discretion.

The MSTV has consulted with Sprint Nextel to establish specific criteria under which secondary TV stations’ BAS relocation expenses would be covered.

Among the criteria:

  • LPTV and TV translator stations must submit inventories of their existing 2GHz BAS equipment to Sprint Nextel no later than Sept. 14, 2007;
  • LPTV and TV translator stations must submit a deal package to Sprint Nextel no later than Jan. 12, 2008;
  • Stations operating under the 720-hour rule without individual licenses from the FCC must submit documentation to Sprint no later than Oct. 30, 2007, establishing that equipment to be replaced was purchased prior to Nov. 22, 2004.

According to Sprint Nextel, these dates do not change the FCC-mandated Sept. 7, 2007, deadline for completion of the BAS relocation for full-power stations. The company reported to the commission in the spring, however, that it may need a deadline extension of up to two years to complete the project and is expected to make a formal filing with the commission requesting that extension later this summer.

For more information, visit www.2ghzrelocation.com.



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