Backhaul Giveback Backed Up Again?

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Problems continue to plague the Federal Communications Commission's plan to take a portion of broadcasters' backhaul spectrum and reallocate it to satellite companies and other new users.

The Society of Broadcast Engineers said an FCC licensing database continues to show the wrong number of TV-pickup transmitters and other facilities using backhaul channels.

The society wants the FCC to delay for another six months an Oct. 16 deadline for implementing initial procedures to make room for the new services and to estimate any compensation for stations. The problems caused postponement of the original April 15 date.

An earlier industry study showed that for almost one-third of the 21,033 backhaul channels, geographic coordinates for receive stations were either missing or inaccurate. Many of those problems persist, the society found in an August check of the database.

The backhaul reallocation covers channels in five different spectrum bands. Portions of the takeback are also delayed by compensation disputes between broadcasters and new users obligated to pay for the move.

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