Despite unexpected obstacles, BAS relocation update shows progress

All Broadcast Auxiliary Service (BAS) licensees affected by the 2GHz BAS relocation mandate have submitted inventories of existing electronic newsgathering (ENG) equipment, which Sprint Nextel has verified, and 83 percent have completed frequency relocation agreements (FRA), according to an ex parte filing submitted June 2 by the company to the FCC.

According to Sprint Nextel, which filed the project update as required by the commission’s March BAS Extension Order, in the past two months, 12 additional markets have cut over to the new band plan and others, including Tampa, FL, and Jacksonville, FL, are awaiting completion of work by one BAS licensee to make the switch.

The company also laid out other markers to show progress on the relocation. For example, Sprint Nextel told the FCC that the number of broadcasters submitting quote packages has grown to 97 percent.

However, the company cautioned that despite overall progress, unforeseen circumstances can lead to delays. In Greensboro, NC, for example, the crew hired to install new BAS equipment at a multiparty data and systems management center encountered asbestos in the ceiling where the equipment was to be located, which has delayed the project as the best course of action on how to proceed is considered.

“Despite expert planning and preparation,” the filing said, “every BAS facility is different and the parties are likely to encounter other unexpected challenges as each of the nearly 1000 stations involved in the BAS transition work through their own unique installation and integration issues.”