Starting late Thursday, Local 22 and Local 44 viewers who receive our signal over-the-air are likely to encounter difficulties with transmission that will impact your viewing.
The interruptions are temporary while we switch over to our new FCC assigned frequencies. This will not affect cable or satellite TV subscribers or people who watch TV over the internet.
With cellular networks starting to upgrade their bandwidth to 5G, the FCC began purchasing frequencies from television stations so they can sell it to cellular companies.
As Chief Engineer Dave Turner explains, TV stations are then given new frequencies to broadcast off of.
“So basically the antenna that is up there now can’t handle the frequencies that we’re going to be assigned to, so it has to be taken off and assigned to a new antenna, so that we can broadcast out over it.”
Beginning in 2017, the FCC started doing these :repacks” in phases. The final phase ends Friday morning, so over-the-air viewers will have to rescan their televisions when they wake up. The plan was to have the new antenna fully installed by the July 3rd deadline.
But according to Tony Soli from Northeast Towers, the Pandemic caused some troubles getting the necessary equipment. “This is repack, where they’re condensing all of the TV frequencies. So to stay on the air, they had to put a backup on so we can do the work on the main antenna. Which will be coming up in August with the helicopter.”
And while the signal strength in some areas may not be at 100%, Turner tells me it is not going to affect everyone. “This will only affect the over the air viewers. It won’t affect anyone that has Comcast, Directv, any other way they receive it. This is just for people that receive the channels over the air and over an antenna.”
Things will return back to normal in the beginning of August, once crews come back to put up the permanent antenna.