Sure, we all still have a ways to go before the Incentive Auction wraps, but it’s not too early to start thinking about relocation reimbursements. As we all know, TV stations re-assigned to new channels as a result of the auction (and the consequent spectrum repack) will be entitled to reimbursement from the Feds. Ditto for MVPDs that will have to adjust their systems to reflect the re-assignments. Almost a year ago the Commission got the ball rolling by releasing the form (Form 2100, Schedule 399) that will need to be completed by those claiming reimbursement.
And now, with the close of the auction and release of the Channel Reassignment Public Notice still some time off as far as we can tell, the FCC has opened up a beta test version of the online claims process. If you’re so inclined (and you’ve got an active facility associated with an FRN), you can log in and check it out.
The FCC’s public notice announcing this opportunity is a bit light on details. But if you go to this “quick start guide” link, you’ll open up an FCC-produced 14-slide PowerPoint deck that walks you through the process. The PowerPoint assures us that “NO filings in the Beta environment will be processed”.
Don’t be surprised or disappointed if the system appears to be down when you try to log in. Since the beta environment is still “under active development”, the Commission warns that it may be subject to “periodic outages”.
Would-be beta testers should get going sooner rather than later, since the deadline for comments, questions, criticisms, suggestions, etc. is November 4, 2016. (Any such feedback should be submitted by email to email@example.com.)