FCC beta-tests auction reimbursement system | Broadcast | News | Rapid TV News
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The US Federal Communications Commission’s Media Bureau has announced a limited beta test of the Incentive Auction Broadcaster Relocation Reimbursement System — FCC Form 2100, Schedule 399.

FCC panelTelevision stations reassigned to new channels and the multichannel video distributors that carry those stations will file Form 399 to claim reimbursements from the $1.75 billion TV Broadcaster Relocation Fund for expenses they “reasonably incur” in the post-incentive auction repack.

Beginning today, broadcasters will have access to a test environment where they will be able to interact and familiarise themselves with an updated version of the Form 399. Parties accessing the Form 399 beta test environment are invited to provide feedback on the form and the test environment by 4 November.

The beta environment automatically will be open to all broadcasters with an active facility associated with their FCC registration number and password in the commission’s License and Management System database.

The FCC just completed its incentive auction of unused analogue TV spectrum, left over from the digital TV transition. The hope was to free up more spectrum for 4G and advanced wireless services, like mobile video, while the FCC is set to implement a spectrum incentive auction framework. Thus, it will be a two-sided auction for the spectrum in an effort to pay broadcasters a fair value for their assets before selling them to the highest-bidding mobile carriers.

However, those broadcasters choosing not to participate will have their spectrum 'repacked' into other bands to protect their signals from neighbouring interference and ensure uninterrupted TV service. The FCC last autumn proposed setting aside up to two UHF channels in every US TV market for Wi-Fi and other unlicensed wireless services.