Local broadcast stations play a vital role in local communities, delivering the news, emergency updates and entertainment that viewers rely on every day.
By law, nearly 1,000 TV stations must change frequencies to make room for wireless services. TV stations will be moving at different times starting in 2018 through at least the spring of 2020.
If you watch TV for free with an antenna, you will need to rescan your TV or converter box when stations move frequencies to continue receiving your local stations. You do not need to purchase new equipment or services.
If you pay a monthly fee to subscribe to a television service – such as cable or satellite – you do not need to take action.
This move is happening behind the scenes; once your rescan is complete you will still find your favorite stations on the same channel numbers as before.
Congress authorized the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to hold an auction to provide more channels for wireless broadband services. As a result, some local TV stations gave up their channels and may soon go off the air.
Now that the auction is over, the FCC is requiring nearly 1,000 TV stations that did not participate in the auction to change frequencies to make room for wireless services.