NAB Mum on Mexico Coordination Announcement

FCC bureau chief calls it 'exciting' and a 'milestone'
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The FCC says it has agreements in place to coordinate the repacking of TV stations along the Mexican border after the broadcast incentive auction with Mexico's similar move of its TV stations below Ch. 37 as part of its analog-to-digital transition. The National Association of Broadcasters, which has indicated intense interest in the issue, is said to be waiting to get more details before weighing in.

That came in a blog post late last week by International Bureau chief Mindel DeLaTorre, who said that Mexico's version of the FCC, the Instituto Federal de Telecomunicaciones (IFT), had "confirmed through an exchange of technical coordination letters with the FCC that our two agencies intend to follow common guidelines for repacking TV stations that will clear 600 MHz spectrum for mobile broadband use in both countries."

DeLaTorre did not say that the coordination of station repacking among the U.S., Mexico and Canada was a done deal, but called the exchange with Mexico "exciting progress" and "another milestone" on the road to a successful auction.

"[T]his exchange of letters outlines the procedures by which we will work together to help advance the ongoing FCC and IFT spectrum reconfiguration process." DeLaTorre blogged. "They also describe the procedures by which the two agencies intend to help advance both Mexico’s analog-to-digital transition and the ongoing FCC and IFT spectrum reconfiguration process."

Broadcasters want that coordination to be completed before the auction begins—scheduled for March 29, 2016—while the FCC has signaled that resolving all those issues would not be a quid pro quo for launching the auction.

The National Association of Broadcasters did not comment following the blog post, and had no comment at presstime Tuesday (July 28). It is said to be awaiting further details concerning the agreement.

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