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Nation’s largest DMA completes 2GHz BAS relocation project

New York City, Memphis, TN, and Little Rock, AR, are among the 16 designated market areas that have completed their transition to new digital 2GHz Broadcast Auxiliary Service channels used for electronic newsgathering since the beginning of August, Sprint Nextel told the FCC in its latest bimonthly status report on the relocation project.

Filed with the commission Oct. 1, the update describes the progress, with 142 markets in total completing their relocation as of the latest filing, as “substantial.” Other DMAs finishing up their relocations in the past 60 days include: Paducah, KY; Odessa, TX; Fresno, CA; Milwaukee, WI; Huntsville, AL; Amarillo, TX; Hartford, CT; Springfield, MA; Jackson, MS; Waco, TX; Watertown, NY; Binghamton, NY; and Johnstown-Altoona, PA.

As of the beginning of October, 96 percent of all replacement BAS equipment had been delivered. Additionally, 91 percent of broadcasters had received all of the related equipment required to complete relocation, such as control systems, transmitters, connectors, cabling and antennas. In all, 78 percent of broadcasters have installed all of the equipment ordered for their relocation.

In September, broadcasters in the nation’s largest DMA, New York City, as well as the company completed the BAS relocation. Doing so required the transition of 101 mobile trucks, 87 central receive sites, nine fixed links, 17 studio master antenna control systems, 13 helicopters and 173 portable transmitters.

While progress continues, the Sprint Nextel report identified New Mexico as the one state where the project is behind. There, three public stations, KNME-TV, Albuquerque, NM; KENW-TV, Portales, NM; and KRWG-TV, Las Cruces, NM; had not as of the filing executed frequency relocation agreements with Sprint Nextel, nor had they submitted cost estimates for replacement equipment. According to the filing, the general manager of KNME has assumed responsibility for the relocation of BAS operations at all three stations.