FCC grants digital simulcast waivers

The FCC has allowed three educational television broadcasters to delay simulcasting of their analog programming on digital outlets, due to equipment installation delays.

KTWU-DT, licensed by Washburn University in Topeka, Kan., and WQED Multimedia, permit holder of educational television station WQED-DT, Pittsburg, Penn., received six month waivers. South Texas Public Broadcasting System (STPBS), permit owner of educational television station KEDT-DT, Corpus Christi, Tex., received a four-month waiver. All the delays involved the allowance of extra time to install necessary equipment to handle feeds.

On April 29, 2003, the FCC’s Media Bureau issued an order granting noncommercial educational (NCE) stations a six-month waiver of certain simulcast requirements until Nov. 1, 2003. In that order, the commission found that in light of the burden faced by NCE stations in complying with both the construction and simulcasting requirements at once, and in light of its pending re-evaluation of our simulcasting requirements, good cause existed to grant NCE stations a six-month waiver of the simulcast requirements in Section 73.624(f).

Most broadcasters were required to digitally simulcast 50 percent of their analog lineup beginning April 1. The requirement increases to 75 percent April 1, 2004 and to 100 percent April 1, 2005.

For more information visit www.fcc.gov.

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