FCC grants WAKA-DT requests for STA to make DTV transition

The commission approved the station's request for special temporary authority to operate on two DTV channels simultaneously prior to the transition and to reduce its operating parameters while reconfiguring equipment for its new permanent DTV channel assignment

The FCC granted requests of WAKA-DT in Selma, AL, Nov. 25 for special temporary authority (STA) related to its transition to digital transmission.

The FCC memorandum opinion and order, released to the public Nov. 26, authorized the station to begin operating its DTV facilities on Channel 42 prior to the Feb. 17, 2009, DTV transition. Additionally, the order granted a request from the station to let it operate its pre-transition DTV facilities on Channel 55 and post-transition DTV facilities on Channel 42 simultaneously for about one month until the transition. It also authorized the station to operate its post-DTV facilities on Channel 42 at less than its full parameters.

The station requested the STA for a few reasons. By authorizing the station to simultaneously operate on Channels 42 and 55 before February 2009, cable and satellite carriers could make the necessary changes to their receive facilities to begin receiving the station's post-transition signal, according to WAKA-DT. In giving its approval, the commission pointed out that the station will not cause impermissible interference to other stations.

Additionally, granting the requests will allow the station to reconfigure existing analog and pre-transition DTV equipment for use in its post-transition operations. The commission noted that it was more desirable to let the station operate at less than its fully authorized capacity while making the changes than to allow the station to go dark for the estimated monthlong reconfiguration process. However, it acknowledged that allowing the station to do so will cause 6 percent of the station's existing viewers to lose service for 34 days and 14 percent to lose service for eight days. Mitigating the loss of WAKA-DT will be service from another DBS affiliate in the area.

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