Sprint Nextel filed its first progress report following the FCC’s official extension of its deadline for relocating TV station ENG operations. As of March, the Overland Park, Kan., wireless giant is four percent finished six months after its original September 2007 deadline.
Sprint is retooling and replacing ENG gear as part of a $4.8 billion deal with the FCC to move into the 2 GHz spectrum currently used by broadcasters for live remotes. The job proved to be bigger than initially anticipated. Sprint asked the FCC to extend the deadline and the commission agreed last month to do so. The new target is next March.
Sprint reported that all stations with equipment to replace had submitted inventories, with all but two have been verified. Of those, 93 percent have proceeded to the next step of submitting quote packages to Sprint Nextel, which has approved 87 percent of those. Five more steps are required before contract are closed, a point reached by 61 stations or 6 percent of the total. Sprint reported that 4 percent of the nation’s 210 television markets have been completely retuned.
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