Latest 2GHz BAS report shows ‘extraordinary’ progress on relocation

A total of 131 broadcast markets have completed their transition to the new digital 2GHz Broadcast Auxiliary Service (BAS) band plan, according to Sprint Nextel’s latest bimonthly report on the progress of project submitted Aug. 3 to the FCC.

Additionally, the company reported that 92 percent of all BAS equipment has been delivered and 82 percent of BAS operators have received all of the equipment needed to relocate to the new channel plan..

The bimonthly progress report, required of Sprint Nextel by the commission, characterizes the progress of the projects as “nothing short of extraordinary.” Since the last report filed in June, the company and the broadcast community have transitioned more than two dozen DMAs, including: Panama City, FL; Los Angeles; San Diego; Santa Barbara, CA; Palm Springs, CA; North Platte, NE; Lincoln, NE; Omaha, NE; Savannah, GA; Birmingham, AL; New Orleans; Lubbock, TX; Youngstown, OH; Nashville, TN; Greenwood-Greenville, MS; San Angelo, TX; Detroit; Boston; Providence, RI; Shreveport, LA; Tyler, TX; and Wichita, KS..

As in previous reports, the latest illustrates the size of the undertaking in select markets transitioned during the reporting period. Pointing to the Los Angeles, San Diego, Palm Springs and Santa Barbara TV markets, together referred to as the Los Angeles market cluster, the report said the area’s transition required new BAS equipment for 192 mobile trucks, 176 central receive sites, 27 fixed links, 34 studio master antenna control systems, 14 helicopters and 258 portable transmitters..

While the filing reported significant progress, a few rough spots remain. In New Mexico, KNME-TV in Albuquerque, KENW-TV in Portales and KRWG-TV in Las Cruces, are the only BAS operators in the United States not to have supplied the company with cost estimates to replace existing 2GHz equipment, a first step to reaching a frequency relocation agreement with Sprint Nextel and ultimately to relocation, the filing said. A freelance BAS operator that supplies newsgathering services in New York City is the only other BAS operator in the nation not to have signed a frequency relocation agreement, it added..