FCC Commissioners unanimously voted to approve $150 million in funding for low-power TV and FM radio stations that are disrupted by the post-spectrum auction repack. Congress directed the agency to add LPTVs and FMs to the funding list and set a deadline of March 23 to do it. The funding was included in the Ray Baum Act FCC Reauthorization legislation that passed last year, which set aside additional repack funding for full power TV as well as the LPTVs, translators and FMs.
FCC chair Ajit Pai said the ongoing repack “has imposed and will continue to impose” a “financial hardship” on many FM stations. But he credited Congress giving the FCC the expanded authority to reimburse radio stations, FM translators and low-power TV stations for their expenses.
“This made it much less likely that these classes of broadcasters will have to pay out of their own pockets after being forced through no fault of their own to relocate or modify their facilities,” Pai said.