Repack May Impact Nearly 700 FMs, Study Shows

The first column indicates counts for the scenario where only TV stations that are going off-air are considered. The second indicates FMs affected by TV stations that are changing channels. The last column shows the results when both stations going off-air and those changing channels are considered. The combined total is not a simple sum of the first two columns because some FMs are affected by both a channel going off-air and a station that is changing channels.

Nearly 700 FM stations are likely to be affected by the television channel repack, concludes a study conducted by V-Soft Communications. The analysis identifies 678 FM stations that may need to reduce power, shut down, or operate from an auxiliary facility as work is being done on a neighboring TV station antenna to ensure tower worker safety from RF exposure, NAB tells the Commission; the broadcast trade lobby commissioned the work.

The report lists FM stations likely to be affected by TV antenna modifications by full-service and class A TV facilities in three cases, according to the engineering consulting firm:

  • For TV stations changing channels due to repacking.
  • For TV stations going off the air. Tower work will be needed to remove antennas.
  • A combined total considering both channel changes and stations that are going off the air was determined.  

 

V-Soft estimates 997 TV stations are changing channels, with 153 TV transmitters going off-air for a combined total of 1,150 TV transmitter changes. It notes the total number of TV transmitters exceeds the number of TV stations because DTS systems contain more than one transmitter.

Also included is a list of FMs, based on V-Soft calculations using FCC data, that “are in a common aperture with the TV station antenna on the same tower.” The report also identifies whether potentially affected FMs could use auxiliary facilities while work is being performed on the TV tower.

July 7, 2017        

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