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FCC Schedules Vote for $1B Repack Fund Disbursement

WASHINGTON—On the agenda for the FCC’s March 15 meeting is a vote on a Report and Order that will establish the rules of disbursement for the $1 billion in repack funds that Congress approved to aid broadcasters last year in their transition. FCC Chairman Ajit Pai outlined the meeting’s agenda in a recent blog post.

“[L]ast year Congress approved an additional $1 billion to cover broadcaster transition costs, and it expanded the list of entities eligible for reimbursement to include affected low-power TV stations, TV translators and FM radio stations,” wrote Pai.

The $1 billion in funds, which was part of the RAY BAUMS Act, is for the FCC to compensate broadcasters for things like new equipment, tweaked equipment and moving costs as stations transition to new spectrum following the incentive auction in 2017 where wireless carriers won the rights to previous occupied TV spectrum.

The 10-phase process of the repack is currently underway. Phase one concluded on Nov.30, 2018, with all stations meeting their deadline save for those granted extensions or moved to other phases. All stations that are part of the repack will have until July 3, 2020, to complete the move.

For all the latest news and insight on the repack, visit our repack silo.