FCC Launches TV Station Reimbursement Beta Test

WASHINGTON—The Federal Communications Commission’s Media Bureau announces a limited beta test of the Incentive Auction Broadcaster Relocation Reimbursement System—FCC Form 2100, Schedule 399. Television stations reassigned to new channels and the multichannel video distributors that carry those stations will file Form 399 to claim reimbursements from the $1.75 billion TV Broadcaster Relocation Fund for expenses they “reasonably incur” in the post-incentive auction repack. (Form 399 was released by the Media Bureau on Oct. 30, 2015. )

Reimbursements will be calculated according to those published an updated version of the Widelity Report, first issued two years ago. An official with the commission said on Friday that the update would be published “very soon.” (See, “FCC Proposes DMA-Level Phased Repack,” Sept. 30, 3016.)

Beginning today, broadcasters will have access to a test environment where they will be able to interact and familiarize themselves with an updated version of the Form 399. Parties accessing the Form 399 beta test environment are invited to provide feedback on the form and the test environment by Nov. 4, 2016. The beta environment automatically will be open to all broadcasters with an active facility associated with their FCC registration number and password in the commission’s License and Management System database.

The FCC noted that parties interested in taking part in the Form 399 beta test should note:

· The test environment can be accessed at this portal.

· A quick start guide is available here.

· Users should submit feedback and report bugs by e-mailing form399beta@fcc.gov.

The commission noted that the beta environment is under active development, so there may be periodic outages. It suggests retrying the system before notifying the devs at the FCC via the email address provided. The commission said the bugs will be worked out before the formal release of Form 399, hence the beta.

Also see...
March 25, 2016
Repack Reimbursement Process Outlined,”
Assuming the auction does close, the statute requires reimbursement within three years of that time.