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07.08.2005
Originally featured on BroadcastEngineering.com
SBE files in support of 2GHz plan expansion request

The Society of Broadcast Engineers last week filed comments with the FCC in support of a request from Nextel, the Association for Maximum Service Television (MSTV) and the NAB for a declaratory ruling to expand reimbursement qualification to include a select group of stations as part of the 2GHz TV BAS relocation.

In the June 29 filing, the SBE expressed its support for the request to make 2GHz TV BAS stations applied for after June 26, 2000, but before Nov. 23, 2004, eligible for reimbursement of expenses from Nextel for conversion of old microwave radios and related equipment to new gear in line with the relocation plan.

The society filing asserted that without expansion of the plan to cover that group of stations, “those licensees may not have the resources to participate in the Nextel transition schedule.” That would be detrimental to successful band reconfiguration because “participation of all stations in a market, plus any associated smaller markets in the area, is vital for the transition plan to work,” the filing said.

The SBE filing pointed out that the request shows Nextel’s commitment to make the plan work “even though the total reimbursement cost for Nextel will be higher if the FCC honors the joint request.” Comparing the request to an insurance policy rider, the society filing said Nextel “is asking the FCC to let it pay a relatively small premium” and in the eyes of the society “this is a smart move.”

Nextel, MSTV and the NAB filed its request for a declaratory ruling June 20.

For more information, visit www.sbe.org.

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