Class A deadlines remain in effect.
Last October, we wrote about FCC proposals looking toward the future of Low Power Television (LPTV) stations after the upcoming incentive spectrum auction and associated repacking the TV spectrum into a smaller number of channels. One of the FCC’s proposals was to defer the September 1, 2015, deadline for LPTV stations and TV translators to complete construction of digital facilities and to terminate analog operation. The FCC tentatively concluded that it should grant that relief, because LPTV licensees should not be forced to invest in new facilities until they know whether they will be able to find channels after the spectrum repack.
While the FCC’s overall LPTV rulemaking has not yet been wrapped up, the Media Bureau has now announced an immediate suspension of the September 1, 2015, deadline for LPTV and TV translator stations. As a result, those stations may, if they wish, continue to transmit analog signals indefinitely, until the FCC says otherwise. There is no need to file applications to extend the expiration date of granted digital construction permits; in fact, the FCC does not want to have to deal with extension applications.
The suspension applies ONLY to the expiration date of construction permits for an existing analog LPTV or translator station’s initial digital facilities. This includes both flash-cuts from analog to digital on the same channel and permits to build companion digital stations on a different channel. The extension does NOT apply to the expiration date of construction permits for modification of facilities of stations that are already on the air with digital signals. Those permits still expire on the date indicated on the face of the permit.Continue Reading...