FAQs on Satellite Waivers - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

FAQs on Satellite Waivers

Q.  What is a "Waiver"
 
A.  The waiver process was put into place by the Federal Communications Commission in order to allow television viewers who lived in areas not served by any over-the-air broadcasters the opportunity to receive network programming.  Waivers are granted in circumstances where it can be scientifically demonstrated a viewer cannot receive an over-the-air signal from WBOC.
 
Q.  What programming do I receive with a "Waiver"?
 
A.  If you receive a waiver from WBOC, you will receive WCBS, in New York, New York.  While this will give you access to CBS programming, you will only receive New York news, weather, sports and information.  During sporting events (i.e. football, basketball, etc.), you will only receive teams of local interest to the New York City area.  You will not receive any local information.
 
Q.  My satellite company told me WBOC denied my waiver request to receive local channels.  Why?
 
A.  Direct TV and Dish Network do not offer local channels in our area.  WBOC has tried for the past 5 years to convince Direct TV and Dish Network to add our area to their local channel offerings.  We have had senators write letters requesting these companies provide local service to their consumers without success.  We encourage you to continue to share your desire for local channels with your satellite provider.
 
Q.  How does WBOC scientifically determine my ability, or lack thereof to receive WBOC?
 
A.  The Federal Communications Commission has established a scientific processes whereby a "signal strength" measurement procedure is performed at your home.  A technician who has been accepted by WBOC will come to your residence.  They will place an antenna on temporary poles and take a series of measurements that indicate WBOC's field strength at your specific location.  They will use these measurements to complete a worksheet that determines the signal strength of WBOC's signal at your location.  If you are at or above the minimum threshold, you are not eligible for a waiver.  If you are below the threshold, you are eligible for a waiver.
 
Q.  I cannot pick up WBOC with rabbit ears.  I need a waiver.
 
A.  Many locations will require a quality outdoor antenna in order to receive a quality signal.
 
Q.  I don't want to put up an antenna. Why won't you give me a waiver?
 
A.  WBOC does not grant waivers to applicants based upon the lack of antenna, or the desire to install one.  You had to install a special antenna in order to become a satellite customer in the first place - you may call it a "dish", but in reality your dish is an outdoor antenna designed to receive the frequencies transmitted by your satellite provider.  An antenna is a necessary part of any wireless telecommunications system.
 
Q.  I've tried outdoor antennas, and they don't work.
 
A.  Our experience has been that 99 percent of all complaints along these lines are due to problems local to the viewer.  Many times the connection cable between the antenna and television is defective.  Winds blow antennas off course ( the same can also happen to your satellite dish).  One of the most common complaints are bad reception during a storm.  Again, our experience has been that loose connections or broken wires account for almost all antenna problems.  If you have a properly installed and operating antenna system, you will continue to receive quality reception during the storm (unlike your satellite service, which will drop out in heavy rain situations). 
 
Q.  My local satellite installer made a measurement and said I do not receive a sufficient signal from WBOC, and I need a waiver.
 
A.  As discussed earlier, the FCC has a prescribed method by which these measurements are made.  It requires a calibrated field intensity meter, a known antenna and a series of measurements (cluster points) to be made.  WBOC has the right, and we enforce that right, to be present during the measurements.  We want to make certain that a technician is making the proper measurements as prescribed by the FCC.  WBOC and Direct TV have evaluated and certified Craig Banks of Craig's TV, Seaford, Del., (302) 629-8070 as an authorized tester.  His fee for the testing is $200.00.  The cost for this test is the SOLE responsibility of the viewer.  (Note: WBOC is not responsible and will not pay for any type of signal measurement testing).  If you plan on using anyone other than Craig's, you must notify us 30 days prior to the test, indicating the company, contact person and the date and location the test will be performed.  WBOC reserves the right as granted by federal law to reject a tester if we deem them unqualified. We may not make that decision until we've witnessed the technician actually take the measurements.  There is an independent dispute resolution procedure provided by the FCC should all parties involved fail to agree upon a testing technician.  WBOC will not accept measurements performed by the customer on their own behalf.
 
Q.  I want more information about this.
 
A.  The Federal Communications Commission has a very in-depth guide available at their website.  The URL for this guide is http://www.fcc.gov/mb/policy/shvera.doc .  We kindly ask that you go here FIRST before calling WBOC. All of our answers and actions are based on this guide.

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