FCC issues MO&O to resolve DTV Table, Appendix B issues

The Federal Communications Commission released a Memorandum Opinion and Order March 6 of its Seventh and Eighth DTV Report and Order to resolve several issues, including the desire on the part of several stations to use their existing analog antenna for digital transmission.

In total, the commission received 124 timely petitions for reconsideration of its Seventh R&O reflecting 221 requests to modify the DTV Table or Appendix B for individual stations. Many of the Appendix B-related requests were from broadcasters seeking to use their existing analog antennas when their stations return to their original analog channel assignment for post-transition DTV operation.

In the MO&O, the commission granted 112 requests. The commission also reminded broadcasters they will have the chance to request and obtain the facilities they seek when they file their applications for authorization on their final post-transition channels.

The memorandum also addressed a petition for reconsideration and clarification filed by the Association for Maximum Service Television (MSTV) asking the FCC to give broadcasters the flexibility they need to build post-DTV transition facilities that will allow them to serve existing viewers. The MO&O granted some of what MSTV sought and denied other requests.

The commission agreed in part with an MSTV request that it should consider and grant station requests as part of the application process rather than the allotment process as related to petitions for reconsideration of its Seventh DTV Report & Order. However, the commission said it would take a two-track approach by also revising Appendix B in response to petitions.

However, the MO&O denied an MSTV proposal that some stations be given more flexibility in seeking to replicate their analog service area by allowing those that are returning to their NTSC channel assignment and plan to use their existing analog antenna to create a maximum of 2 percent interference for the 12 months following the February 2009 transition. While MSTV sought the flexibility to allow stations to cover their existing audience, the commission said it preferred to maintain its 0.5 percent increased interference threshold.

The memorandum also rejected petitions from Mullaney Engineering and EME Communications seeking to eliminate a requirement in commission rules protecting new channel 6 DTV allotments from new FM stations, or that the commission eliminate channel 6 and possibly channel 5 from the DTV allotment process so that FM stations could be allocated the corresponding spectrum.

The 134-page MO&O also addressed a variety of other issues, including requests for modified coverage area, the Eighth Report & Order and procedural matters.

For more information, visit: http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/FCC-08-72A1.pdf.