Sprint Nextel Announces First BAS Switchover

Late last month, Yuma, Ariz. was the first market to complete the transition of its Broadcast Auxiliary Service (BAS) spectrum under the FCC mandated 2 GHz relocation, according to Sprint Nextel. Broadcasters in the market are now operating on new digital equipment and within their new channel assignments.

Under terms of the FCC's 800 MHz Order, 2 GHz BAS licensees, including KYMA-TV in Yuma, Ariz., must relocate to new spectrum assignments by September 2007. KYMA kicked off its relocation project in May 2005.

Paul Heebink, station manager for KYMA said, "The transition to digital broadcast capabilities is already improving our services to the public and has fulfilled our obligation to the FCC. We're pleased that KYMA is in the first market to relocate, enhancing our critical news gathering and reporting operations."

Sprint Nextel will receive a portion of the 2 GHz band in exchange for relinquishing spectrum at 700 and 800 MHz, as well as financial contributions, in an effort by the FCC to resolve an interference issue. The communications services company based in Reston, Va. is responsible for reimbursing BAS licensees for the cost of relocating to comparable facilities within the 2 GHz spectrum band. BAS licensees use this spectrum to transmit local news from remote locations back to the studio.

Robbie DeCorse, chief engineer for KYMA said, "Switching to the new channel plan was simple and took just a few hours. Now, tuning in a live shot is a breeze and we can definitely go live in places that we couldn't before."