fcc-logo_dark-blueAs the incentive auction enters its closing stages, the FCC has issued a basic plan and detailed procedures for repacking TV stations into the smaller TV band.

The repacking involves moving hundreds of stations to new channels within 39 months.

The FCC said it will manage the channel migration in phases as several stakeholders had suggested.

In a statement, the FCC said “Recognizing that resources needed for the transition process are limited, the commission determined that a phased construction schedule would facilitate efficient use of these resources, eliminate the need for all stations to obtain their equipment or schedule tower crews at the same time and could account for the complexities that stations may face.”

Under the plan, stations will be assigned to one of 10 transition phases, each with its own testing and completion deadline, the FCC said. The completion deadline will be the last day a station may operate on its pre-auction channel.

Quiet Period Remains

The plan also clarifies, but does not lift the prohibition on broadcasters discussing any aspect of the incentive auction among themselves or publicly even though the reverse auction in which broadcaster sold spectrum is closed. The FCC imposed the so-called quiet period to prevent collusion among broadcasters that could corrupt the auction.

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