NAB Offers Caveats To Repack Progress Form

It suggests changes the FCC should consider to make it less repetitive and burdensome for broadcasters and to insure that stations are not forced to reduce service indefinitely during repacking.

 

NAB says the FCC should change its auction repack progress form to remove any suggestion that broadcasters can or should be forced to operate on backup facilities that do not allow it to maintain coverage for an indefinite period of time.

The suggestion came in comments on the FCC’s proposed form for the reports broadcasters involved in the repack following the incentive auction will be required to file.

NAB agrees that such a form is necessary for an undertaking of the size and scope of the repack to succeed. “Regular progress reports will provide critical information to the commission as it manages an incredibly complex transition.”

However, it spelled out four specific points that the FCC should modify:

  • The reporting form should allow broadcasters additional options to provide accurate responses. “Throughout the repacking process, broadcasters will face numerous uncertainties, and forcing a yes or no response in these circumstances will materially lessen the accuracy of the information the commission collects and makes available to stakeholders.”
  • Non-reimbursable stations should also submit progress reports. “These stations will in many cases be drawing on the same limited pool of resources as reimbursable stations as they seek to move to new channels. Further, their progress is no less important than that of reimbursable stations when it comes to clearing the new wireless band for forward auction winners.”
  • The commission should adjust the requirements for the submission of progress reports. “The Public Notice proposes to require the filing of progress reports on a quarterly basis. Rather than quarterly reports, the commission should require the submission of reports every six months, and require that those reports be supplemented with reports at major milestones, including the receipt of all necessary government permits and approvals, a report 10 weeks prior to the station’s construction deadline and a report when the station has ceased operation on its pre-auction channel.”
  • The commission must seek to preserve service during the repack. “No station should be required to cease operation on its pre-auction channel until construction on its primary facilities is complete.”

NAB’s comments also said: “We urge the commission to adjust the proposed reporting requirement to make it less repetitive and burdensome for broadcasters, and to incorporate more flexible options for responding to the proposed questions.”

“Most importantly, the commission must not seek to compel broadcasters to operate with significantly diminished facilities solely to maintain the fiction that its arbitrary 39-month deadline for the completion of repacking is achievable.”

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Comments (2)

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Ellen Samrock says:

January 26, 2017 at 5:45 pm

Here’s a big repack caveat the Micro-App-Goog crowd didn’t count on: Ajit Pai. He said this at the Brandery
“A Digital Empowerment Agenda” Cincinnati, OH, Sept.13, 2016: “”When it comes to the broadcast television band, broadcasters should have priority.” Pai also said that, “…low-power TV stations and TV translators who provide valuable service across the country will need a home after the auction.” Translation: Obama’s high tech cronies are going to have to “Go Fish” in some markets when it comes to helping themselves to that free 14 MHz slice of vacant channel spectrum. It won’t be there.

    Wagner Pereira says:

    January 27, 2017 at 2:50 am

    “Who provide valuable service”. That’s a short list


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