Sprint Nextel and the Association for Maximum Service Television (MSTV) have announced a new program that reimburses broadcasters for costs associated with relocating eligible secondary broadcast auxiliary service (BAS) facilities from the 1990MHz to 2025MHz band.
Sprint said it would voluntarily reimburse the “reasonable expenses” of those secondary station licenses, including low-power television stations, television translators and stations operating under the FCC’s 720-hour rule.
“Sprint voluntarily agreed to reimburse these additional costs to promote timely completion of the BAS relocation process,” said Michael Degitz, Sprint vice president Spectrum Allocation.
MSTV president David Donovan said that each TV station or group must contract individually with Sprint. For many stations, he said, “we anticipate this will become part of their current frequency relocation agreement.”
The FCC recently affirmed that while Sprint is not required to reimburse the costs of relocating secondary BAS station licenses, it may choose to at the company’s discretion. The agreement between Sprint and MSTV provides specific criteria under which broadcasters can become eligible to receive compensation from Sprint for costs associated with relocating operations to comparable facilities in the revised channel plan.
The 1990MHz to 2110MHz band (2GHz BAS band) is currently used extensively by the BAS for mobile TV pickup (TVPU) operations, including electronic newsgathering (ENG) operations to cover news and sporting events. In cooperation with the broadcast industry, Sprint Nextel has committed to funding the cost of relocating eligible primary BAS incumbents nationwide from the 1990MHz to 2025MHz band to ensure a timely transition to the new BAS configuration and pave the way for new wireless services.
Broadcasters can review detailed information on the eligibility requirements and intermediate milestones that secondary BAS licensees must meet at www.2ghzrelocation.com.