The Congress passed a $1.3 trillion omnibus spending package to fund the federal government through September 30. The legislation includes the full $1 billion in additional funding for the broadcast repack.
Specifically, the legislation provides the $1 billion in repack funds over two fiscal years – $600 million in the current fiscal year (FY18), which runs through September 30, 2018; and $400 million in the upcoming fiscal year (FY19), which begins on October 1, 2018. These funds do not expire until 2023. Full power television reimbursements beyond the current $1.75 billion fund are eligible for receipt of these new funds, as are FM stations (including FM translators), low power television and TV translators and consumer education efforts.
The legislation directs the FCC to allocate the $600 million in FY18 funds across all four categories of eligible recipients, however it includes the following limitations: no more than $350 million to full power television, no more than $50 million to FM radio, no more than $150 million to low power television / translators, and $50 million to fund consumer education efforts. The FCC has discretion as to how to allocate the $400 million in FY19 funds.