TV Repack Nearly Two-Thirds Complete, Pai Tells Senate

WASHINGTON—The post-incentive auction repack is entering the home stretch, according to testimony given by FCC Chairman Ajit Pai in front of a Senate oversight committee on Thursday, Oct. 17. And thus far the repack has been going well, per Pai.

The Senate Financial Services Subcommittee conducted the hearing to get an overview of the FCC’s entire spectrum auction program. Pai spoke on how previous and upcoming spectrum auctions are helping the U.S. stay at the forefront of wireless technologies, like 5G, as well as generating revenue.

Pai was specifically asked to give an update on the post-incentive auction repack by Sen. Jerry Moran (R-Kan.). Pai informed the committee that the fifth phase of the repack was completed in September—after extensions were given by stations impacted by Hurricane Dorian—at which point 533 of the 987 stations required to move to channel had successfully done so.

Phase six ends today, Oct. 18, with Pai saying he expected an additional 100 stations to have completed their moves. If those numbers prove accurate, the repack will be more than two-thirds complete.

“The process for compensating stations for their relocation costs as a result of the post-incentive auction spectrum repack,” Pai said. “And wireless carriers are already using much of the 600 MHz spectrum that they won at the auction to provide service across the country. Looking forward, we’ll keep our eye on the ball and make sure that this repack is brought to a successful conclusion.”

For more information on the repack, visit TV Technology's repack silo.