08.16.2004 03:26 PM
Commission sets rules, deadlines for maximization and replication

During its regular monthly meeting, the commission set out rules and deadlines for digital replication of the Grade B analog service area and maximization of DTV signal coverage.

The FCC decided that stations may, but aren’t required to, replicate their analog service area on their digital channels and maximize these service areas, as previously authorized. Stations may also certify their intention to replicate and/or maximize on their new digital channel assignments from the channel election process. Failing to deliver makes the station subject to sanctions. Stations intending to replicate or maximize on post-transition digital channels must meet the following deadlines. Failure to do so will result in loss of interference protection on the existing digital channel.

  • July 1, 2005: The top-four network affiliates in the top 100 markets that receive a tentative digital channel designation in the channel election process on their current digital channel must construct full, authorized facilities. Stations that receive a tentative digital channel designation on a channel that is not their current digital channel must serve at least 100 percent of their analog population coverage.
  • July 1, 2006: All other stations, including noncommercial licensees, that receive a tentative digital channel designation in the channel election process on their current digital channel must construct full, authorized DTV facilities. Stations receiving a tentative digital channel designation on a channel that is not their current digital channel must serve at least 80 percent of their analog population coverage.

Stations that meet these deadlines will be permitted to carry over maximized service areas to their new digital channels. Stations that fail to meet these deadlines can’t.

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