By Devin Ulibarri  

Special to The Ely Times

If you’re one of the 3,239 subscribers with the White Pine Television District 1 (WPTVD) you may notice some significant changes this weekend.

The WPTVD has been notified by T-Mobile, the purchaser of the spectrum in this area, that they are planning to deploy in White Pine.

Channel 50, KLAS broadcast from Squaw Peak, will need to be moved to a new channel by Oct. 10.  Channel 48, KVVU from Las Vegas will also be affected as it shares transmitting equipment with Channel 50 KLAS. Other channels will be affected as well, but currently WPTVD has only received notification for Channel 50.

Changes in licensing are under way as well, and new channel assignments are pending.  New transmitting equipment and antennas are being ordered as well.

Hardware modifications are required, so there is the possibility of channels being off the air for a short period of time. Once the hardware and antennas are ready to go, the WPTVD will begin broadcasting on the new channel allocations.

For end users, this will require subscribers to rescan the channels in order for your television to find the new RF channel.

Technicians will be working on Victoria Peak on Sept. 8 to upgrade equipment to comply with changes Salt Lake City broadcasters are making on their equipment due to repack requirements set by the Federal Communication Commission.

Subscribers may experience periodic outages of Salt Lake City channels from approximately noon on Saturday until early morning on Sept. 9.

The Salt Lake City broadcasters have been broadcasting at 50 percent of their power for some time as they installed new equipment for this project.  After Sept. 8, they will be broadcasting at 100 percent of broadcast power and reception should improve greatly.

White Pine Television District 1 board member Devin Ulibarri said, “We appreciate the patience and understanding of all of the subscribers during this time. “

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) manages the frequency allocations for television, radio, cellular telephones, and many other services that are utilized.

The amount of bandwidth available for television in 2007 with the implementation of digital television transmission and following the sale of a large amount of the remaining television spectrum will reduce it even further during the next couple of years.

With more efficient bandwidth usage with digital broadcasting and our ever expanding wireless networks, this spectrum was sold by the FCC to wireless carriers to be used for additional mobile phone network improvements.

This means some of the channels broadcast by the White Pine TV District (WPTVD) will be forced to locate to new channels at some point in the future.

While it may be some time before all changes will be implemented, the WPTVD feels it’s important to make the community aware of changes that may affect their television viewing.

While these changes won’t affect those with satellite TV, those customers can also benefit from over the air TV broadcasts in the area by adding a TV antenna to your television.

If you have any questions you can contact the WPTVD at 775-289-2359 or by attending monthly meetings, usually held on the second Monday of each month at 5:15 PM at the WPTVD offices at 1701 Avenue F in Ely.