In mid August, Tribune Broadcasting and Hearst-Argyle threw their weight behind what Sprint Nextel sees as growing momentum, advancing the 2GHz Broadcast Auxiliary Service (BAS) project.
Facing a Sept. 7, 2007, FCC-mandated deadline for moving 2GHz BAS operations to 12MHz digital channels between 2025MHz and 2110MHz, broadcasters and Sprint Nextel will be racing to complete the project on time. That’s why the signing of a frequency relocation agreement (FRA) by Tribune’s WGN in Chicago and Hearst-Argyle’s WESH in Orlando, FL, is so important. The deals show substantive progress and may help to encourage other stations and groups to take action.
According to Sprint Nextel vice president Michael Degitz, a major impediment to progress on the BAS relocation related to tax liability has recently been resolved, and as a result, there’s been significant progress on FRAs.
With less than one year to go until the FCC deadline, Sprint Nextel has released some statistics on the progress of the project. The figures reveal:
- 97 percent of BAS licensees have engaged in relocation activities.
- 77 percent of the total affected broadcasters have submitted required inventories of existing equipment to be replaced.
- 48 percent of the inventories have been verified by Sprint Nextel.
- 7 percent of BAS licensees have signed FRAs with Sprint Nextel.