The wireless carrier, which is expected to bid for spectrum in the FCC’s spectrum auction, says that there are no grounds for NAB’s request for more time and money to move to new channels in the post-auction repacking of the TV band. According to its study, the carrier says, the current deadline (39 months) and reimbursement fund ($1.75 billion) are more than enough.
The FCC gave assurances this week that no stations will be forced off the air following the incentive auction next year because they can’t build their new channels in 39 months as the FCC has mandated. But that should be taken with a grain of salt until the repack rules are rewritten, perhaps around the regionalized repack scheme cooked up by NAB.
A new NAB-sponsored study says the necessary TV band reshuffling following next year’s spectrum auction will take between 8 and 11 years and cost $2 billion to $3 billion. That’s much greater than what the government has allocated. Its plan calls for all the stations to be moved in 39 months after the auction and it has set aside just $1.7 billion to reimburse broadcasters for their moving costs. CTIA says it will oppose any effort to stretch out the repack.