T-Mobile will cover costs for rural PBS broadcasters to relocate following 600MHz auction


Following the completion of the FCC’s 600MHz auction, the TV broadcasters that were using that spectrum must move off of it so that carriers like T-Mobile can begin using it. Today it was revealed that T-Mo will help one of those broadcasters with its relocation efforts.

T-Mobile will cover the costs for rural public television low-power facilities that have to relocate to a new broadcast frequency following the FCC’s 600MHz auction. There was no funding from the FCC to help these low-power broadcast facilities move to new frequencies, which meant that some were at risk of going off air. Thanks to T-Mo’s help, PBS says that up to 38 million people will be able to keep their local TV programming.

Here’s what PBS President and CEO Paula Kerger had to say about today’s news:

“Public broadcasting has been one of America’s greatest and most enduring public-private partnerships. We are thrilled that T-Mobile sees the value that public broadcasting brings to the American people and is helping to ensure that everyone—regardless of income or zip code—continues to have access to PBS, including vital emergency alerts and programs that help prepare children for success in school.”

And T-Mobile CTO Neville Ray’s statement:

“We’re proud to collaborate with broadcasters across the country as they transition to other channels, and doubly proud to support local public television’s public service mission and help ensure millions of kids in rural America continue to have access to public television’s high-quality, educational programming. Moves like this will help us expand our network into these underserved areas and give consumers a new level of wireless coverage and choice.”

This is a nice move by T-Mobile to ensure that folks in rural areas won’t lose PBS programming as a result of the FCC’s 600MHz auction. Of course, it’ll also help to make the broadcasters’ move off of 600MHz go more smoothly, which T-Mobile wants since it spent $8 billion on 600MHz spectrum across the country. T-Mo wants to get put that spectrum to use on its network, and helping local broadcasters to relocate will make both the broadcasters and people living in rural areas happy since they get to keep local programming while also benefitting T-Mobile and its effort to utilize its newly-purchased 600MHz airwaves.

Source: PBS

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  • bkat11

    Great PR move and brilliant business move…Verizon is soiling themselves right now LOL

    • Joe

      Don’t be fooled that Verizon is scared. Verizon still has a bit more low band spectrum than t-mobile does. Verizon just knows that they cant keep there high prices which they have already brought down, and they cant sit on there ass.

      • Mike

        Verizon has majority roaming deals not towers or Spectrum smaller and rural areas . This is the reason why Verizon is priced higher.

      • bkat11

        Don’t mean to be rude but you are incorrect…T-Mobile owns a ton of 700 mhz band 12 and nationwide 600 mhz band 71 and has twice the bandwidth of 600 that Verizon has at 700. Verizon’s 700 bandwidth doesn’t exceed 10×10 anywhere in the us

        • Joe

          I am paraphrasing what Neville R. said on a conformance call. We have 2x the low band spectrum per customer than Verizon. If that is true, that means that Verizon has a small edge on low band over t-mobile since tmus has 72 million subscribers and Verizon has 146 million subscribers (as of q1 2017). However its a very small edge over tmus.

        • Jason Caprio

          How about before you praise T-Mobile’s 600MHz spectrum, let them activate it first. At least on Verizon, we’ve already had coast-to-coast 700MHz low band coverage for years. They did not need 600MHz. Furthermore, once they shut down their CDMA network at the end of 2019, they will have nationwide 850MHz Band 5 LTE as well as extra 1900MHz Band 2 LTE bandwidth which I am sure will be aggregated with the rest of the bands, but you don’t hear them bragging about it now. They’ll just do it, then tell us about it.

          Also remember, that wonderful 600MHz spectrum map that shows the entire country painted magenta, does not and will not reflect actual coverage by a long shot.

          Once again T-Mobile bragging before the fact.

        • bkat11

          Dude…you crack me up! Who is “we”? Are you the official spokeman? And what the hell are you talking about? No S**T they have to deploy it first…just like Verizon has to deploy its Band 2 and Band 5 first as well as its AWS-3 which they are a few years off on as well.

          Why do you come to this blog? Are you just that bored at home? Not getting any from your man? I don’t get it so enlighten me

        • Jason Caprio

          I come to this blog to enlighten people on T-Mobile deceptiveness, being that I was a former T-Mobile customer for nearly 3 years. John Legere talks a lot of smack at Verizon, yet they have pioneered the 4G LTE network and 3 years later T-Mobile jumps in and decides they are better simply because they are the underdogs.

          If it was the other way around and T-Mobile were the big dogs, then Verizon came from behind, you’d be singing a different tune, I guarantee it. Verizon was overpriced/expensive before because they could be, they were/still are the best. Since the gap is closing, competition is benefiting the consumer. That’s economics 101.

          Furthermore, I post here simply to get a rise out of you because it’s so easy lol

        • Jason

          So you do know that Disqus introduced a shadow ban this week right? ;-) Ive been talking to the site moderators about you and they have been watching you. You really should not be so explicit in wanting to ‘get a rise’ out of people. Anyway I forwarded this latest post, and its going to be fun. Youre going to be posting every day seeing your messages like they are real, and nobody else sees them :-P

        • thepanttherlady

          I see his posts just fine.

        • Jason

          For now… ;-)

        • Jason Caprio

          Oh really? So bkat making personal attacks on me doesn’t warrant a ban either? Give me a break.

          I’m done posting on this site anyway, this time for real. Apparently anybody who disagrees with T-Mobile fanboys is the enemy.

        • thepanttherlady

          No one has been banned.

          Don’t give anyone power over your emotions. Just ignore the pot stirrers, they have nothing better to do than to try and get a rise out of someone.

        • HotDogBitesMan

          The gap is widening, not closing, as Verizon bleeds customers.
          “Overall, in the first quarter, Verizon lost 307,000 postpaid customers “

        • that’s only because t-mobile sat out that auction and for the fact Verizon was set up with low band spectrum from the government.

          T-mobile has had band 2 and 4 on LTE for some time now and now 700mhz and adding 600hmz.

        • Mschmal

          Verizon is still using CDMA? Stuck in 1995. Does Verizon still prevent you from using data while in a voice call?

        • flyerandy

          Verizon has VoLTE as well. They still have CDMA concurrently as needed.

        • RedWolfeXR

          Really the only carrier who is ahead of the Spectrum re-farm is AT&T — who already sunset GSM. Both Sprint and Verizon are running CDMA/EVDO which is their equivalent of 2G and 3G respectively.

          Tmobile still runs GSM, which is the same generation as CDMA. However they have started making large carve-outs of UMTS/3G and have been relaunching it as LTE. In fact they have even skipped 3G entirely in rural overlays. Many sites are GSM plus multiband LTE.

          AT&T is the only carrier who uses a lot of 3G as a backup to LTE.

          Most carriers are up to 4 or 5 LTE bands, AT&T is up to 6 in some places. I have worked on the networks of three of the big 4, for 2 different major vendors, and on pretty much all of the different technologies. (my personal handset is on T-Mobile)

  • MadMartigan

    That’s pretty slick. Budget 10-15 billion, spend 8 on the spectrum and the rest in “helping” broadcast TV get off those frequencies – i.e. getting those frequencies in T-Mo’s hands quite a bit faster than their competition might have expected.

  • kev2684

    T-Mobile is run by marketing geniuses.

  • JaswinderSinghJammu

    It’s good for T Mobile and PBS, T Mobile gets what it wants, do a good deed and get good marketing as well.

  • steveb944

    Simply phenomenal. So glad to be a T-Mobile customer.

  • Matt

    T-Mobile seems serious about moving on quickly on getting 600 mhz deployed. Once the lion’s share of this gets started, Verizon and AT&T will have something to worry about.