Areas/pops data for auction-eligible stations released for comment.

We have another sign of the impending arrival of the spectrum auction. The FCC’s Office of Engineering and Technology (OET) has released what it describes as the “final” version of its TVStudy software. This latest-and-greatest version – dubbed Version 1.3.2 – is the one that will be used in connection with the auction. That’s a good reason to start to get familiar with it (if you aren’t already), assuming that you’re a TV licensee expecting to be affected by the auction. You can download the software, along with an “Installation and Upgrade Guide”, from the “Repacking” page on the FCC’s “LEARN” website. At the same site you should also find a “Change Log” showing all the revisions to TVStudy that have been implemented.

Probably of more immediate interest to potentially affected TV licensees will be the separate table released by OET showing three flavors each of the “baseline coverage area and population served” for each television station to be protected in the repacking process. These were calculated using (a) TVStudy 1.3.2 and (b) the latest parameter settings adopted by the Commission in early June, 2015. The three flavors: noise-limited, terrain-limited and interference-free. The noise-limited figures reflect the coverage area that will be replicated for each listed station; the interference-free population figures show the population to be served by the station that will be protected from interference in the repack.

While OET is not inviting any comments on TVStudy 1.3.2, it is inviting comments on the areas/pops data calculated using the program. Anybody with anything to say about those data has until July 30, 2015 to let the FCC know. Comments should be filed in GN Docket No. 12-268 and ET Docket No. 13-26.

Note that the list of stations is NOT necessarily the final list. The current list reflects only those stations that were included in the initial recent Eligibility Public Notice. As we have previously reported, the Commission has invited stations that were omitted from that universe to petition for inclusion. Obviously, if a station manages to get in the door through that petition process, it will be added to the TVStudy data list. Also, the specific areas/pops figures just released are subject to possible revision once all Pre-Auction Technical Certifications (i.e., Form 2100, Schedule 381) have been filed. Those certifications could reveal alternate facilities that could in turn entail recalculation of some stations’ numbers.