T-Mobile says it is offering to pay moving costs for low-power stations “that operate on a secondary basis and are unable to obtain a permanent channel in time to accommodate T-Mobile’s rapid deployment of broadband service in the 600 MHz band.”
On the heels of news last month that T-Mobile would cover the costs for local public television low-power facilities that are required to relocate to new broadcasting frequencies following the government’s recent spectrum incentive auction, on Monday the company told the FCC that it will do the same for some commercial LPTV stations.
It said the offer would be made to LPTVs “that operate on a secondary basis and are unable to obtain a permanent channel in time to accommodate T-Mobile’s rapid deployment of broadband service in the 600 MHz band.”
T-Mobile said it is offering to pay “the reasonable costs associated for such stations to move from a temporary channel to a permanent channel. While these stations are required to vacate the 600 MHz band when the broadband provider is ready to initiate service, T-Mobile recognizes that some of these stations may need to move twice, and T-Mobile is willing to go beyond what is required and compensate these stations for the additional move. T-Mobile’s voluntary commitment will significantly ease the burden on these stations and help ensure that their service to the public is not disrupted.”
NAB spokesperson Dennis Wharton said in response that “NAB is gratified by the T-Mobile announcement, which recognizes the important role that low-power TV stations play in providing quality entertainment and lifeline news and information to millions of TV viewers.”
T-Mobile said that “this type of double-payment risk, while fully consistent with the Spectrum Act of 2012, has generated concern among some secondary licensees. T-Mobile has heard those concerns and wants to address them because even though the Spectrum Act of 2012 requires secondary licensees to pay their own relocation costs, T-Mobile appreciates that its rapid deployment may create an additional burden on these secondary operators if they need to relocate more than once.
“T-Mobile therefore will reimburse eligible secondary licensees 14 for the costs that they reasonably incur to comply with the permanent channel assignment they may receive under the Special Displacement Window to the extent those channel assignments differ from the channel assignment these licensees may build following displacement from the 600 MHz band due to T-Mobile’s rapid broadband deployment.”