Post FCC Spectrum Auction Planning

New applications are no longer being accepted. Check this page for updates about this initiative.


Any qualified entity (or joint proposals submitted by collaborating entities) may apply.


May 2, 2016

Request for Proposals

Revised April 19th, 2016

The Federal Communications Commission will hold a voluntary auction of spectrum currently held by television stations, and has encouraged stations to participate in the auction by surrendering all of their spectrum, sharing spectrum with another station, or moving to a less desirable portion of the spectrum. Once the auction is over, many television stations will be forced to change channel assignments during the channel repacking. It is possible that this process will create areas that are no longer able to access public television, as the contours of stations change, and as station translators are forced off the air.

The Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) seeks the services of a consultant(s) (Consultant) knowledgeable in television broadcasting technology, business operations and policy to assist CPB with: 1) identifying areas where there may be a potential loss of public television service after the auction and the resulting channel repacking, and providing CPB with a detailed report and recommendations on how to restore service to those areas, and 2) research and prepare scenarios/solutions for potential issues stations may face in the channel repacking following the auction, and 3) after completing the report, provide assistance to CPB and stations on an as-needed basis with issues resulting from the auction including the repacking. The Consultant will work closely with CPB throughout the process and in determining the parameters of the report, keeping CPB apprised of any issues as they arise.

CPB understands that individual firms may not have the necessary expertise to provide the services requested. Accordingly, CPB will consider joint proposals submitted by collaborating organizations. CPB will contract with the lead party which will be responsible for the final product.

Applicants should propose a fixed fee for developing the report on how to address the loss of service to communities and the scenarios/solutions for potential issues stations may face in the channel repacking. The report should be completed on or about September 2016. For any additional services CPB requires thereafter, CPB will compensate the Consultant on an hourly agreed upon rate. The contract term will end March 2017 and thereafter, CPB will have the option to extend the term of the agreement for an additional six months, at agreed upon hourly rates, for any additional assistance CPB may require relating to issues arising from the auction.

Please download the Request for Proposals below for detailed information, including application requirements.
PDF icon Request for Proposals299.86 KB

Questions from Potential Respondents, with CPB Answers:

FAQ Topic: 

Should the Consultant focus primarily on white areas resulting from the loss of full power transmitters? Should the analysis also include service and coverage impacts for: a) those stations that may move to low VHF; b) translators; and c) low power TV stations?

All of the issues mentioned in your question (except for low power TV stations, which would not be CPB-qualified) are important and will need to be addressed.

Should the Consultant’s report address OTA service only, or should it also address changes in access to PTV content via cable and satellite services?

While CPB is first and foremost concerned with maintaining over-the-air access, we are also concerned with the public’s continued access through multichannel video programming distributors.

Can you define the loss of public TV “service” you refer to here? Does “service” refer to the loss of coverage only? Or is “service” meant more broadly to include loss of multicast streams, datacasting services, etc.? In addition, does the work scope include an assessment of potential loss of signals (as in entire signals) or of bandwidth even if there continues to be some signal available: e.g., 3 MHz of bandwidth as opposed to 6MHz in the case of a single station market or 6MHz of bandwidth as opposed to 12MHz in the case of a multi-station market?

We are committed to ensuring the public’s access to at least a primary feed of the PBS national schedule.

Does CPB expect the report to include an assessment of PTV’s ability to meet the repack 39-month deadline?

The Consultant will be expected to provide an analysis addressing potential issues stations may face in the channel repacking following the auction, but not an analysis of stations’ ability to meet this deadline.

Will CPB provide access to stations’ audited financial statements, as well as AFR and SABS data, so that the Consultant can better assess financial challenges or does CPB expect the Consultant to obtain this financial information itself?

We will provide the selected Consultant access to needed station financial information.

Can you provide guidance regarding the types of solutions you imagine? Do they include CPB activities, such as station grants or professional development, or simply, direct technical assistance to stations from subject matter experts?

We anticipate that the Consultant will provide a range of solutions, which may include all of those mentioned in your question.

Does this phase of the work include general information for CPB and stations, or would the Consultant be responsible for providing specific engineering or technical solutions to specific stations? If it is the latter, what is the anticipated scale of this work in terms of the number of stations that the Consultant might need to work with directly?

We will not know which stations will have to be repacked until the conclusion of the auction sometime late in 2016. Thus the first phase of work by the consultant will not be station specific. However, later phases of work by the consultant may include providing assistance to stations.

Is there an expectation that the Consultant will provide policy or legislative recommendations regarding CSG requirements/allocations or legislative changes needed to mitigate the impact of the auction and repack on service areas?

Policy and legislative recommendations are not within scope of this project.

The RFP requests a single fixed fee bid for Phase A; can we assume that our Cost Proposal need not include Consultant and subcontractor hours and rates for this phase?

Please refer to Section IV (B) “Required Proposal Contents” of the RFP, which specifically states “Identification of any task to be subcontracted, showing number of subcontractor hours and their hourly rates”.

The RFP says that it was revised April 19th. What changes were made from the original version?

The due date was extended to May 2nd and an error in the percentages in Section V “Evaluation Criteria” was corrected.