TV Channel 14 Repacking Information

In 2016, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) commenced the first-ever “incentive auction,” which was designed to repurpose broadcast TV spectrum for innovative wireless uses. The auction closed in April 2017, beginning the FCC-mandated 39-month transition period for TV stations that elected to move to new channel assignments (aka “repacking”). Twenty-one (21) TV stations are targeted to move to Channel 14 (470-476 MHz), which is immediately adjacent to thousands of UHF land mobile radio (LMR) users that operate in 460-470 MHz. The Enterprise Wireless Alliance (EWA) wants you to be aware of Channel 14 TV repacking because it may affect customer systems authorized in the 460-470 MHz UHF band that have sites up to 50 miles outside the cities in the markets listed below.  

  • Atlanta, GA
  • Birmingham, AL
  • Cedar Rapids-Waterloo-Iowa City-Dubuque, IA
  • Charlotte, NC
  • Chattanooga, TN
  • Green Bay-Appleton, WI
  • Harlingen-Weslaco-Brownsville-McAllen, TX
  • Jackson, MS
  • Jacksonville, FL
  • Lansing, MI
  • Louisville, KY
  • Mobile, AL-Pensacola, FL
  • Norfolk-Portsmouth-Newport News, VA
  • Orlando-Daytona Beach-Melbourne, FL
  • Puerto Rico
  • Raleigh-Durham, NC
  • Seattle-Tacoma, WA
  • Sioux City, IA
  • Syracuse, NY
  • Tri-Cities, TN-VA
  • Waco-Temple-Bryan, TX

The TV broadcasters or surrogates, such as engineering firms, may soon contact the land mobile radio (LMR) users within the above market areas to schedule tests of the new broadcast systems for possible interference. EWA encourages the land mobile radio users to collaborate with these engineering firms and TV broadcast stations to ensure that the land mobile licensee is protected and does not experience any interference. According to FCC rules, the broadcaster is required to identify potential interference to LMR operations and “must install filters and take other precautions necessary and submit evidence that no interference is being caused before it will be permitted to transmit programming on the new facilities” [73.687(e)(4)]. It’s the responsibility of the TV broadcasters to correct the issue and protect existing LMR licensees. The TV broadcaster is responsible for any costs incurred in the relocation of the TV broadcaster to Channel 14, including costs to correct issues associated with interference mitigation –including those incurred by the LMR licensee.

Please be aware that the FCC has created a comprehensive transition schedule for the TV broadcasters to move their stations, which includes a lengthy window for thorough testing to permit the TV broadcaster time to identify and resolve any interference before permanently broadcasting on their new channel 14 allocation. The transition schedule is available at the FCC Broadcast Incentive Auction web page.  If you have customers in any of these affected areas, EWA encourages you and your customers to work closely with the TV broadcasters to ensure a smooth, seamless transition.

If you have questions related to this transition or “repacking” to Channel 14 and the corresponding FCC rules, please contact EWA at 800-482-8282.

Tuesday, June 26, 2018