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APTS urges FCC to require replication only after digital transition is complete

The Association of Public Television Stations (APTS) has filed comments with the FCC urging the commission not to require replication or maximization of broadcast facilities before the cessation of analog transmission.

The association is concerned that the FCC might consider imposing rules requiring replication or maximization at its Aug. 4 open meeting.

In the July 27 filing, the association said such a move would require redundant and wasteful expenditures as a station would be required to replicate or maximize twice. Doing so would be a wasteful investment of private and public capital that public stations can’t afford, it said.

The association pointed to KCTS-TV in Seattle as an example. Currently the station’s DTV channel 41 operates at 427kW, but replication of the analog service area before the transition would require the station to operate at 1000kW. That would translate into an additional $500,000 to $700,000 on supplemental transmitter equipment.

“However, KCTS is planning to convert its analog channel 9 to digital at the point of transition, and this will require a similar equipment investment. This public broadcaster would therefore have to spend $500,000-$700,000 on equipment that would be used for a very short period of time and no longer needed after transition, over and above an additional equivalent amount required to convert its analog channel to digital operation,” a press release quoting the filing said.

Therefore, the association only favors required replication after the transition to digital transmission is complete.

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