NAB Asks FCC to Expedite Repack Funding

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Says initial $1 billion cap should be lifted

WASHINGTON —Executives from the National Association of Broadcasters met with Federal Communications Commission staffers this week to ask it to make as much of the $1.75 billion post-incentive auction repack funding available to broadcasters as quickly as possible.

The FCC will soon start authorizing payments for the expenses broadcasters have been submitting.

In an April 13 public notice on the repack, the Incentive Auction Task Force said that after its review of initial cost estimates submitted by broadcasters, it would cap initial allocations at $1 billion, with $750 million held back.

NAB said that there is no reason to withhold that much, and that a $175 million reserve should suffice.

The broadcasters pointed to three things that have changed since that April public notice: 1) Vendors have expressed concern that stations' uncertainty about reimbursement has forced some of them to delay firm orders for needed equipment; 2) that the $1 billion cap dates from before the FCC had the full $1.75 billion available, and 3) that the FCC now knows that estimated costs are going to exceed, NAB said "greatly exceed," $1 billion.

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