FCC Extends Phase 5 TV Station Repack Deadline

The FCC has extended phase 5 of its post-incentive auction repack because it includes some areas potentially in the path of Hurricane Dorian. 

In an orchestrated 10-phase repack, most of a thousand broadcasters are moving to new spectrum after the FCC auctioned some of that broadcast spectrum for 5G.

Phase 5, which was to have concluded Sept. 6, includes stations in North and South Carolina. 

"There remains considerable uncertainty about the future path of the storm and therefore its implications for the completion of construction projects related to the transition," the FCC said.  

Related: FCC Waives Some TV Station Repacking Reporting Requirements 

The new phase deadline is Sept. 11 at 11:59 p.m., though if the storm does damage those transitions, the FCC will evaluate the situation on a case-by-case basis. 

The FCC points out that the phase includes stations in parts of western Georgia, Tennessee, California, and Minnesota," none of which are implicated by the storm. 

As a result, it "strongly encouraged" stations in those areas to keep to their original schedules as they have told their viewers they were going to. 

The FCC isn't planning to start upending the transition schedule. "At this time, we do not anticipate amending any other testing period start dates or phase completion dates in the Transition Scheduling Plan but will continue to monitor the storm and will announce any other changes that may be warranted," the FCC said.  

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.