On July 23, the Idaho Public Television signal broadcasting to the Bonners Ferry area will be re-channeled.
Following the re-channeling, viewers in the Bonners Ferry translator area who receive IdahoPTV via an over-the-air antenna will lose their signal and will need to perform a rescan of their TV tuner in order to receive the updated channel. After rescanning, viewers will continue to find IdahoPTV on broadcast channel 26.
Information on performing a rescan is located here: fcc.gov/rescan.
Here is some background on why this is happening: the Black Mountain translator that serves the Bonners Ferry area is currently broadcasting the IdahoPTV signal on frequency channel 44 (received by TV tuners as channel 26). Telecommunications company T-Mobile has purchased that frequency and is paying for us to relocate to a new channel (frequency channel 24, which will continue to be received by TV tuners as channel 26).
In 2017, as part of the FCC’s nationwide Broadcast Spectrum Incentive Auction, T-Mobile purchased spectrum in the 600 MHz block across the continental United States to bolster their cellular network. The Bonners Ferry translator sits in the middle of T-Mobile’s purchased spectrum and is required to change channels or terminate operations entirely. IdahoPTV was successful in applying for and receiving a new channel assignment to continue broadcasting in the area.
“A nod should be given to T-Mobile in that they graciously offered to pay for the equipment and services necessary to relocate our service to a new channel,” says Rich Van Genderen, IdahoPTV’s director of technology. “So although this is an inconvenience, at least it isn’t an unfunded mandate for us to meet.”