(a)The Transition Planning Period. The Transition Planning Period is a 90-day period that commences on the day after the proponent(s) files the Initiation Plan with the Commission.
(b)The Transition plan. The proponent(s) must provide to each BRS and EBS licensee within a BTA, a Transition Plan no later than 30 days prior to the conclusion of the Transition Planning Period.
(1) The Transition Plan must:
(i) Identify the call signs of the stations that are transitioning;
(ii) Identify the specific channels that each licensee will receive following the transition;
(iii) Identify the receive sites at which replacement downconverters will be installed (see § 27.1233(a));
(iv) Identify the video programming and data transmission tracks that will be migrated to the MBS and provide for the MBS channels to be authorized to operate with transmission parameters that are substantially similar to those of the licensee's operation prior to transition (see § 27.1233(b));
(v) Identify the technical configuration of the MBS facilities;
(vi) Identify the approximate time line for effectuating the transition, which, unless dispute resolution procedures are used, may not exceed 18 months from the conclusion of the Transition Planning Period;
(vii) Provide for the establishment of an escrow or other appropriate mechanism for ensuring completion of the transition in accordance with the Transition Plan.
(2) The Transition Plan may provide for interruptions of EBS transmissions, so long as those interruptions are limited to a period of less than seven days at any reception site. The proponent(s) must coordinate with each EBS licensee to minimize the extent of any disruption.
(3) The Transition Plan may provide for the shifting of an EBS licensee's program to alternative channels. Such shifting may not be considered an interruption, if the EBS licensee's receive sites are equipped to receive and internally distribute the channel to which the programming is shifted.
(4) The Transition Plan may provide for the installation of an appropriate filter on an MBS transmitter if the proponent(s) determines that the installation of a filter will mitigate interference from transmissions in the MBS to operations outside the MBS.
(c)Counterproposals. No later than 10 days before the conclusion of the Transition Planning Period, affected BRS and EBS licensees may submit a counterproposal to the proponent(s) if they believe that the Transition Plan is unreasonable. The proponent(s) may:
(1) Accept the counterproposal, modify the Transition Plan accordingly, and send the modified Transition Plan to all EBS and BRS licensees in the BTA;
(2) Invoke dispute resolution procedures for a determination of whether the Transition Plan is reasonable and take no action until a determination of reasonableness is made; or
(3) Invoke dispute resolution procedures for a determination of whether the Transition Plan is reasonable, but may implement the transition immediately.
(d)Safe harbors. An offer by a proponent(s) shall be reasonable if it meets one of the following safe harbors:
(1)Safe harbor No. 1. This safe harbor applies when the default high-power channel assigned to each channel group is authorized to operate after the transition with the same transmission parameters (coordinates, antenna pattern, height of center radiation, EIRP) as the downstream facilities before the transition. If the proponent(s) does not propose a change in the geographic coordinates of the facilities (other than as necessary to conform the actual location with the Commission's Antenna Survey Branch database), the proponent may also propose the following to the extent consistent with this subpart:
(i) An increase in the height of the center of radiation of the transmission antenna or a decrease in such height of no more than 8 meters (provided that such change does not result in an increase in antenna support structure lease costs to the EBS licensee and the consent of the owner of the antenna support structure is obtained).
(ii) A change in the EIRP of the transmission system of up to 1.5 dB in any direction.
(iii) Digitization, precision frequency offset, or other upgrades to the EBS transmission or reception systems that allow the proponent(s) to invoke more advantageous interference protection requirements applicable to upgraded systems.
(2)Safe harbor No. 2. This safe harbor applies when an EBS licensee has channel-shifted its single video programming or data transmission track to spectrum licensed to another licensee. Under § 27.5(i)(2), that track must be on the high-power channel licensed to the EBS licensee upon completion of the transition. For example, before the transition, an A Group licensee might have shifted its EBS video programming to channel C1. If one of the pre-transition A Group channels is licensed with technical parameters substantially similar to those of pre-transition channel C1, the Transition Plan may provide for high-power channel A4 to be licensed with the same technical parameters as the pre-transition channel C1. However, if the pre-transition A Group channels are licensed to operate with technical parameters materially different from those of pre-transition channel C1, the proponent(s) may:
(i) Arrange a channel swap with the licensee of the C Group so that the A Group licensee will receive high-power channel C4 (which will automatically be licensed with the same transmission parameters as the pre-transition channel C1) in exchange for channel A4.
(ii) Arrange for high-power channel A4 to operate with transmission parameters substantially similar to those of the pre-transition channel C1 (see paragraph (d)(1) of this section).
(3)Safe harbor No. 3. This safe harbor applies when a four-channel group is shared among multiple licensees in a given geographic area. Absent an agreement otherwise, a proponent may:
(i) Secure a 6 MHz MBS channel for each licensee in exchange for the non-MBS channels assigned to the group. Following the channel swap(s) necessary to secure those additional MBS channels, the Transition Plan can provide for the licensing of the remaining channels in the LBS, UBS, and Guard Bands on a pro rata basis (with channel(s) in each segment being disaggregated when and if necessary to provide each with its pro rata share of the spectrum in each segment);
(ii) Provide for pro rata segmentation of the default MBS channel for the group, provided that the proponent commits to provide each of the licensees with the technology necessary for its EBS video programming or data transmissions to be digitized, transmitted and received utilizing the provided bandwidth. The non-MBS channels would be divided among the sharing licensees on a pro rata basis (with channel(s) in each segment being disaggregated when and if necessary to provide each with its pro rata share of the spectrum in each segment); or
(iii) Assign the default MBS channel assigned to the channel group to one of the licensees, if that licensee is the only one that elects to migrate video programming or data transmission tracks to the MBS. The remaining spectrum assigned to the group may be allocated among the licensees on a pro rata basis, with the 6 MHz in the MBS counting against that licensee's portion. To the extent necessary, the non-MBS spectrum can be disaggregated when and if necessary to provide each with its pro rata share of the spectrum in each segment. If the proponent chooses to effectuate a channel swap to provide more than one channel in the MBS, the remaining channels assigned to the group (after considering that one or more LBS/UBS channels and associated Transition Band channels will have been swapped away to provide the additional MBS channel) can be allocated among the licensees on a pro rata basis (with channel(s) in each segment being disaggregated when and if necessary to provide each with its pro rata share of the spectrum in each segment).
(4)Safe harbor No. 4. This safe harbor applies when an EBS licensee uses one or more of its channels for studio-to-transmitter links. The proponent may provide for one of the following options:
(i) The use of the LBS and/or UBS band for the point-to-point transmission of the EBS video or data (through superchannelization of the licensee's contiguous LBS or UBS channels), provided the proponent commits to retune the existing point-to-point equipment to operate on those channels or to replace the existing equipment with new equipment tuned to operate on those channels and the proposal complies with the LBS/UBS technical and interference protection rules;
(ii) The migration of the EBS programming to the MBS by retuning the existing point-to-point equipment to operate in the MBS or replacing it with equipment tuned to operate in the MBS; or
(iii) The replacement of the point-to-point link with point-to-point equipment licensed to the EBS licensee in alternative spectrum, so long as the replacement facilities meet the definition of “comparable facilities” set out in § 101.75(b) of this chapter.