FCC lifts freeze on DTV maximization filings

On May 30, the FCC lifted its temporary freeze on full power and Class A TV stations filing applications and petitions to maximize their digital channel, 12 weeks earlier than originally anticipated, the Media Bureau said last week.

As part of the move, the commission also has lifted its freeze on filing petitions for rulemaking to allow broadcasters to request channel substitutions to the DTV Table. However, the freeze still applies to accepting petitions for allotting DTV channels for new stations and for changes in community of license.

In August 2004, the bureau imposed the freeze so it could develop a stable database for use during the channel election process and initial procession of post-transition digital facility applications.

According to the bureau, the commission has received about 620 post-transition construction permit applications. On average, the Video Division has taken on average four days to process an application from its receipt. The expedited handling allowed the commission to lift the freeze early, the bureau said.

The public notice also encouraged stations that previously filed petitions for further reconsideration in the DTV Table of Allotment Proceeding to file applications to maximize if needed to obtain authorization for the facilities they sought.

The bureau also addressed when post-transition construction permits expire in the public notice. The commission’s CDBS automated filing system has issued post-transition DTV construction permits with an expiration of Feb. 17, 2009, at 3 a.m. local time, the bureau said. In the public notice, the Media Bureau extended the expiration of all such permits to Feb. 17, 2009, at 11:59:59 p.m. local time.

For more information, visit www.fcc.gov.