New LPTV Station Applications Halted by Broadband Demands
Federal Communications Commission will not accept new applications for low-power
digital TV stations and translators until further notice. The commission
announced the postponement yesterday, citing the spectrum demands for the
Nationwide Broadband Plan. The process was supposed to restart July 26, but has
now been suspended indefinitely.
“The Broadband Plan announced an effort to identify 500 megahertz of spectrum
that can be reallocated from existing uses to enable the expansion of new
mobile broadband service,” the FCC’s
states. “To aid in this endeavor, the Broadband Plan recommended, among
other things, that the commission initiate a rulemaking proceeding to reallocate
120 megahertz from the broadcast television bands, and also to consider
methodologies for repacking television channels to increase the efficiency of
The FCC said the LPTV and translator application suspension was necessary to
evaluate another repacking of the TV band. The nation’s full-power TV stations went
through a repacking in the DTV transition, which concluded a year ago.
“Following the conclusion of the commission’s broadband rulemaking proceedings,
the Media Bureau will consider an appropriate date for the initiation of
nationwide digital licensing,” the FCC notice said.
Existing LPTV, Class A and translator station can apply for digital companion
channels starting July 26, the commission said. Applications for new
digital-only LPTV and translator facilities in rural areas will continue to be
accepted, including those for flash-cutting facilities.
-- Deborah D. McAdams