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Nextel Files BAS Relocation Schedule and Implementation Plan

Last week Nextel filed its BAS Relocation Schedule and Implementation Plan with the FCC. It lists the markets that will be relocated by the end of stage one (currently Sept. 7, 2006) as well as those that will be relocated by the end of stage two (currently Sept. 7, 2007). While Nextel said it was committed to completing the BAS (broadcast auxiliary service) relocation process by Sept. 7, 2007, it warned the stage one schedule "may need to be adjusted to account for unforeseen circumstances or complications in a particular market." MSTV, NAB and SBE filed a request to extend the deadlines for completing mandatory negotiations with Nextel that were established in the Report and Order. Nextel has expressed strong support for the proposal, which remains pending at the FCC.

Many broadcasters are familiar with the plan outlined in the Nextel filing. I've covered it in RF Report and details are available on the Nextel Web site The BAS Relocation Schedule lists the markets to be included in stage one. In many cases, Nextel combined multiple DMAs into a "market cluster" to be converted at one time.

Market clusters in stage one include: Atlanta, Chicago, Detroit, Houston/San Antonio/Austin, Kansas City, Las Vegas, Miami, New England, Phoenix, San Francisco, Tampa/Orlando, Fla., and Washington, D.C. All other market clusters are in stage two.

Some of the stage two market clusters include some large markets many may have expected to see in stage one. Some of the larger markets in stage two include Dallas, Denver, Los Angeles, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Nashville/Memphis, New Orleans, New York, Pittsburgh, Portland Ore., Raleigh, N.C., Seattle, and St. Louis. The Nextel filing notes, "It should be emphasized that Nextel and BAS licensees in 'stage two' markets may very well initiate planning and other relocation activities during stage one to ensure that relocation can be completed in all markets within the Commission's 31.5 month deadline."

For a complete list of the markets included in stage one and stage two and for more detail on the relocation plan, see the Nextel BAS Relocation Schedule and Implementation Plan.