Many Community Television Stations to Cease Broadcasts: ATBA Encouraged by T-Mobile Offer


July 17, 2017 — The Advanced Television Broadcasting Alliance (ATBA) is pleased that T-Mobile recognizes the tremendous hardships that the incentive auction has imposed on low power television stations (LPTV) and translators in today’s Ex Parte filing with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC.) LPTV and translator station serving hundreds of communities across the country have received letters from T-Mobile to cease operations within 120 days.

T-Mobile and others spent millions to lobby Congress to sell them prime spectrum under the guise of a “spectrum crunch,” which was proven not to exist.  As a result of the auction, hundreds of LPTV and translators with specific, unique and local programming will go off the air permanently.

“Many LPTV and translators are owned by small businesses or families and simply cannot afford to continue to rebuild their facilities each time the federal government reallocates television spectrum and forces stations to fight for whatever spectrum may be left over,” according to Robert Folliard, chairman of the ATBA, the LPTV and Translator industry organization. “We very much appreciate T-Mobile’s offer to offset some of the costs that many LPTV and translators will incur if forced to build twice — first, in response to T-Mobile’s letter providing the licensee 120 days to cease operating on its current channel and, second, if the station’s temporary displacement channel is no longer available after the FCC processes all of the applications filed in the upcoming LPTV special displacement window.”

ATBA is encouraging other wireless carriers who displace LPTV operations to make a similar commitment.

“Unfortunately, these efforts will not bring back the many LPTV and Translators that will not be able to find spectrum in the newly repacked television band. “says Lee Miller, ATBA Communications Director. “Also, many will not be able to afford the relocation costs in which the vast majority of will not be reimbursed by T-Mobile, any other carrier or the Federal Government.”

ATBA notes that T-Mobile’s offer will sunset in three years.  Therefore, it will be critical for the FCC to quickly process all applications filed in the special LPTV displacement window.  No LPTV or translator licensee should lose its opportunity to be reimbursed for its second-build costs because of FCC delays.

The Advanced Television Broadcasting Alliance is an industry organization comprised of over 2,000+ low power television broadcasters, translators, full power television broadcasters and allied industry organizations and companies.  The goal of the Alliance is to preserve and promote the efficient and effective use of all television broadcast spectrum, and stands ready to actively dialogue with T-Mobile on LPTV and Translator repacking and displacement process.



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Dear Fellow LPTV Broadcaster and Industry Leaders,

The auction has ended and most of us are still here.  While it was not only our hope but the hope of many others that the auction would not take place . . . it did, but it did not have the devastating effect that it might have had. 

The world after the auction looks different and amazingly so has a very bright future!

What does that future look like?  Not only the amazing possibilities of ATSC 3.0 but the landscape of a nation of people who are increasingly cutting their cable cords and looking for free, over the air, broadcasting content.

That’s why it’s more important than ever that you join the Advanced Television Broadcast Alliance.  Our board of directors have a combined 500+ years of experience which beginning with your membership we are going to start making more available to our members on an increasing basis.

Soon as an ATBA member, you will be eligible to start tapping into not only this brain trust through unique services available only to our members but regular news updates regarding our collective broadcast future.  We are exploring new ways to tap into information from Washington as well as important updates that will benefit you right there where you live.

The need for the ATBA has increased with the new opportunities that are becoming available for those of us who still know that the future of LPTV, Class A and Translators is bright!  Are you selling your station to local sponsors?  Are you maximizing your spectrum to the advantage that you truly can?  Are you struggling with FCC rules and regulations that you either don’t understand or can’t get explained?

The ATBA is developing a database of information to help you find the answers you need! 

In addition we are still working with the true decision makers in Washington.  Your ATBA has earned the respect and the ear of the true movers and shakers that continue to shape our collective broadcasting future.

So what can you do to get involved and begin to take advantage of these, and many other, benefits?  Join the ATBA today!  Your membership benefits will include:

  1. Members only access to hundreds of years of LPTV experience through our new “Brain Trust”
  2. Early entry to our annual NAB LPTV evening event with access to our special event guest(s)
  3. Exclusive digital content regarding real world information you need to know
  4. Eligibility for recognition for your hard work through our ATBA LPTV Awards
  5. Access to equipment manufacturers with discounts available especially for ATBA members!

To be honest you can’t afford not to be a member of the ATBA! 

We’re making it affordable because it’s a win – win!  When you join, you’re going to receive more than just the benefits listed above but also you’ll be aligning with hundreds of others who, like yourself, have a vested interest in the continued forward movement of free, over-the-air broadcasting.  It’s a win for your ATBA because we will increase our strength through numbers as we grow together.

So what’s the next step?  If you’re ready follow this link to sign up.  If you have more questions please don’t hesitate to call a member of the ATBA board of directors by calling this number (877) 214-4277.   You’ll get a rapid response!

Thanks for taking the time to read this note and for your ongoing passion for the future of communication in this great country.


The Board of Directors – The Advanced Television Broadcast Alliance