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FCC moves to help stations, MVPDs in hurricane aftermath

The FCC responded to the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina with public notices that allow TV and radio broadcasters as well as multichannel video programming distributors (MVPDs) to allow systems and stations to operate and restore communications as needed in areas impacted by the hurricane.

The commission is providing additional assistance on an expedited basis to MVPDs and broadcast stations to get the systems and stations back on the air as quickly as possible.

The notices give all requests for temporary facilities or modification to existing facilities expedited processing.

For television and radio stations, the commission has provided the following:

  • Expedited processing of requests for Special Temporary Authority (STA).
  • Erection of temporary emergency antennas without prior authorization. The commission also waived the requirement that licensees notify the FCC within 24 hours of commencement of operations employing these antennas.
  • Full daytime power for AM nighttime operations to broadcast emergency information provided all operation is conducted on a noncommercial basis.
  • Waiving of current rules on notification time period for limited and discontinued operations. The commission will accept notifications within 30 days and requests to remain silent within 60 days of the discontinuance of operations.
  • Upon request, a permittee of a broadcast station located within a Federal Disaster Area will be provided an additional 90 days to complete construction.

For Cable Television Relay Service (CARS) stations, the notices will expedite procedures for STAs for temporary facilities or modification to existing facilities for restoration of services. Operation under CARS STAs may commence immediately upon local coordination.

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