The FCC has published its Notice of Proposed Rule Making (NPRM) spelling out its rules for digital low-power television, TV translator and television booster stations, and amendments to existing rules for digital Class A TV stations. Comments from interested parties are due Nov. 25.
The NPRM is designed to lay the regulatory groundwork for the transition of low-power television to digital service. According to the commission, the NPRM takes into account the dearth of available spectrum and the limited budget of such stations and seeks to establish a transition that is both affordable and flexible so that those in rural communities and other areas served by LPTV stations can begin to enjoy the benefits of digital television service.
The NPRM seeks comments on several topics including:
- The insertion of local messages by translator stations;
- Whether TV channels 52-59 and 60-69 should be made available for digital LPTV when applicants can show that other channels are unavailable;
- The method of analyzing possible interference from digital low-power stations to primary services and whether the existing method of contour protection should be replaced with a more flexible and accurate DTV interference prediction methodology;
- Restriction of initial digital-only application filing to incumbent LPTV, TV translator and Class A TV licensees with a separate filing later on a first-come, first-serve basis;
- Whether statutory provisions for cessation of analog TV service applies to LPTV service, and if not, should the commission establish a trigger-based mechanism;
- Whether the commission should establish an on-channel digital booster station class in the LPTV service, and if so, what rules should govern such stations;
- Issues related to digital-low power equipment and station operation. (For more information on the comments sought regarding digital LPTV transmission read Commission’s digital LPTV NPRM seeks comment on rules governing transmission)
For more details, including a transcript of the commission meeting where the Commission’s Media Bureau presented this NPRM, please see the Aug. 15 edition of RF Update.
For more information visit the NPRM.