Over 1,000 television stations must move their channel position or go off-air over the next 3 years with the first deadline for some stations set for November 30, 2018. It’s just one of the consequences of the FCC’s 600MHz spectrum auction process that’s set to give T-Mobile new farmable bandwidth in all of the United States.
The National Association of Broadcasters has urged the government and winning bidders to be stick to a transition timeline in which engineers have enough time to make all the moves required. T-Mobile, though, is more eager to rush the process through and isn’t afraid to ruffle feathers in the local TV business. The carrier said that it will help America’s Public Television Stations to fund and expedite the transition for station translators that serve rural areas.
Today, the network has signed an agreement with the FOX Television Stations group to quickly transition WWOR-TV, licensed to Secaucus, New Jersey and serving the New York metropolitan area. It is scheduled to begin repacking its airwaves early next year, 16 months earlier than an FCC proposal would have required. It will move within the UHF band from channel 38 — within the 600MHz space — to channel 25.
T-Mobile looks to subsidize the process and save some of the government’s money set aside for the repacking process.