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90.9 On-Air Signal In Central and Western Massachusetts Affected

Please be advised that residents in central and western Massachusetts including parts of Worcester County may experience difficulty listening to WBUR over the air using the 90.9 FM frequency in the coming weeks. We encourage you to please explore other “Ways To Listen” to WBUR such as the WBUR Listen app on your phone, streaming on your desktop computer, or with a smart speaker such as Amazon’s Alexa or the Google Home assistant.

Why is there an interruption of service?

You may have heard about The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) spectrum auction to help improve and expand wireless services across the country. In the auction, TV broadcasters were able to voluntarily give up their broadcast frequency in exchange for a share of the proceeds from an auction of it to commercial wireless service providers. As part of the FCC “spectrum repack” project now underway post-auction, some of the TV stations are required to replace equipment. WBUR’s main transmission facility is located in Needham, Mass. – and this facility also hosts several television stations.

Although WBUR is radio, we’ll need to temporarily move our antenna to our back-up facility in Newton, Mass. This location previously served as WBUR’s main transmission facility before our relocation to Needham two years ago which helped expand our signal reach.

Therefore, the most noticeable shift of the temporary relocation will be the impact on our signal towards the west and Worcester area. Our broadcast range will be affected and actually reduced. During this period, listeners in the impacted geographic area are recommended to try alternate methods of listening to WBUR such as the WBUR Listen app:

  • Apple iOS: Available for download from iTunes
  • Android: Available for download from the Google Play store

There are multiple ways to listen to WBUR listed on our website here.

When will the 90.9 on-air signal be back on the radio in western Massachusetts and Worcester?

The repacking process is scheduled to take 6-8 weeks or potentially more depending on weather delays. We’re sorry for this inconvenience. Our team will be monitoring the process closely to ensure WBUR can go back to our primary transmission site as soon as possible. Please email with any questions or comments. More information regarding the FCC Spectrum Repack project can be found here.


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