TV spectrum auction lands millions for RI PBS station

TV spectrum auction lands millions for RI PBS station

WSBE-TV, Rhode Island's PBS television station, will receive $94.4 million to move its signal from its current position on the television spectrum to a lower spot.

It was part of an incentive auction facilitated by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) as it tries to move all television signals lower on the spectrum to free up space for wireless networks.

"There's a demand for bandwith for the spectrum from the wireless companies for emergency services as well as being able to deliver more services that consumers demand," said PBS president and CEO, David Piccerelli.

Cable and satellite subscribers will continue to have uninterrupted service at home. Eventually, viewers will have to re-scan their television signals to find the new channel assignments. That is not expected to take place for about two years.

Proceeds from the auction will be put in an endowment and the money will be used to cover expenses associated with the spectrum move, upgrades to the production equipment, and repairs to the building.

"There are a lot of culturally-rich assets here and we want to be that person to tell that story and to highlight those assets in the community," said Piccerelli.

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