The FCC Feb. 4 extended the deadline for completion of the 2GHz Broadcast Auxiliary Service (BAS) relocation project for a fourth time until March 5, 2008.
As of Jan. 7, the Sprint Nextel 2ghzrelocation.com Web site was reporting that 65 percent of BAS licensees had completed contracts with the company to swap out their old analog electronic newsgathering (ENG) equipment for new, rebranded digital microwave transmission gear.
In waiving the Feb. 4 extension until the beginning of March, the commission said the extension would give it additional time to consider a joint petition filed in September 2007 by Sprint Nextel, the NAB, the Association for Maximum Service Television and the Society of Broadcast Engineers (SBE) seeking additional time to complete the project as well as a consensus plan filed by the same parties in December 2007 developed based upon meetings with other stakeholders in the spectrum that will be freed up by the relocation.
A number of factors played into missing the original September 2007 deadline, including the complexity and scope of the undertaking, questions about the tax consequences stations and groups would face as a result of the equipment swap and longer-than-anticipated legal negotiations with BAS licensees to finalize frequency relocation agreements.
For more information, visit www.fcc.gov.