What is happening?
Because of government action , many local stations in your state and district may be moving channels beginning next year and continuing through 2020. This impacts your constituents who watch their local channels over the air with an antenna. These viewers will need to rescan their TV sets at the appropriate times to continue watching TV for free. Some TV stations may go off the air entirely as early as this fall, impacting all viewers.
Why is it happening?
In 2012, Congress authorized the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to hold an auction to reallocate broadcast airwaves for wireless broadband services. During this process, local TV stations were encouraged to relinquish their airwaves and in turn, the government sold those airwaves to wireless companies and shared a portion of the proceeds with participating TV stations.
The auction recently concluded and the FCC has determined nearly 1,000 remaining TV stations must move channels to make room for wireless carriers. The broadcast stations that relinquished their airwaves may go off the air entirely.
Who is affected?
Seventy-seven million Americans rely on an antenna for free, over-the-air TV and are at risk of losing access to their local channels when TV stations move. Many of these are rural, minority, lower income, senior and millennial viewers. For these viewers broadcast television remains an indispensable source of news, emergency information and entertainment.
Some radio listeners may also be impacted. Radio stations that share a tower with TV stations that are moving may need to reduce power levels for tower work to be completed.
How can you help?
Due to the high number of TV channels being relocated, the work and time necessary to complete the moves will far exceed the budget allocated by the Broadcaster Relocation Fund authorized by Congress. Congress should pass the Viewer and Listener Protection Act (H.R. 3347 and S. 1632) to ensure viewers and listeners do not lose the lifeline connection local stations provide.
Click below for infographics that explain how and why television station channels are moving.
Find out which channels in your congressional district are moving.