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FCC Extends LPTV DTV Companion Channel Settlements Deadline

As covered in last week’s RF Report, the FCC scheduled a Nov. 5, 2008, auction for mutually exclusive applications for LPTV digital companion channels (DCC). The window for settlements to resolve mutually exclusive applications was scheduled to close July 31, 14 days after the release of the Public Notice announcing the auction.

On July 25, the National Translator Association (NTA) submitted a request to extend the settlement period until Sept. 8, 2008, contending that auction applicants “have not had sufficient time to allow for the negotiation of potential settlements and the preparation of necessary engineering and legal documents.”

The FCC’s decision pointed out that the NTA did not demonstrate that an extension of the settlement period stretching into September was not warranted, and that such an extension would have a negative impact on the established schedule for Auction 85.

“NTA’s Request presents no showing that any specific party with a mutually exclusive proposal in Auction 85 will be unable to complete the necessary documentation by the current deadline despite exercising due diligence. We note also that no applicant has filed a request for an extension of the settlement period.”

However, in the Public Notice announcing the extension of the settlement period to Aug. 14, 2008, the FCC conceded that, even though the request for a lengthy extension was being denied, they did conclude that “a brief, two-week extension of the Auction 85 settlement period may be accommodated without disruption to the auction schedule.”

The reasoning was that such an extension would provide time for additional parties to complete documentation and would reduce the chances for incomplete filings.

Doug Lung is one of America's foremost authorities on broadcast RF technology. He has been with NBC since 1985 and is currently vice president of broadcast technology for NBC/Telemundo stations.