Appropriations Bill Includes $600M for 2018 Repack Expenses

WASHINGTON—Good news for broadcasters that will be affected by the spectrum auction repack — the $1.3 trillion omnibus appropriations legislation unveiled Wednesday includes $1 billion in additional funding for the broadcast spectrum incentive auction repack.

In fiscal year 2018, the bill allocates up to $50 million for radio stations’ expenses out of the total $600 million for the spectrum auction repack fund. It also earmarks up to $350 million authorized for full-power TV stations’ relocation, up to $150 million for low-power TV station and translator relocation and $50 million for consumer education. $400 million in funding is appropriated for FY 2019.

NAB welcomes the omnibus appropriations bill’s inclusion of RAY BAUM’S Act along with funding that fully and fairly reimburses broadcasters for their spectrum repack relocation expenses,” NAB President and CEO Gordon Smith said in a statement Wednesday.

[Noncoms Seek More Money, Flexibility from FCC]

“We urge immediate passage of this omnibus legislation and look forward to a repack process that holds harmless TV broadcasters, local radio stations and the tens of millions of Americans who rely on our services every day,” Smith said.

Smith also praised Chairmen Walden and Thune, Ranking Members Pallone and Nelson, Appropriations Chairmen Cochran and Frelinghuysen, Vice Chairman Leahy, Ranking Member Lowey and congressional leaders. 

This story originally appeared on TVT's sister publication Radio World.

For more information on the repack, visit TV Technology's repack silo.