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FCC Lifts Freeze on Some Class A TV Applications

The FCC Media Bureau issued a Public Notice (DA 08-1644) announcing the freeze on the filing of Class A displacement applications and Class A expansion applications is lifted, effective Aug. 4, 2008. Full-power TV stations are required to protect Class TV stations from interference. As discussed before in RF Report, some stations found they were not able to maximize because of nearby Class A TV stations. After the Class A application freeze is lifted on Aug. 4, Class A TV displacement or expansion applications may further limit other TV stations’ ability to expand coverage.

These applications will be accepted on a “first come, first served” basis and will be treated for cut-off purposes on the date they are filed. Class A displacement and expansion applications filed prior to Aug. 4, 2008, that requested a waiver of the filing freeze will be treated for cut-off purposes as being filed on Aug. 4, 2008.

The FCC Public Notice states, “The freeze provided a stable database during the channel election process and the initial processing of applications for full power stations’ post-transition digital facilities. The commission recently lifted the freeze on the filing of maximization applications by full power television stations. Given that action, we find it appropriate to lift the freeze on the aforementioned types of Class A station applications.”

The FCC Public Notice did not describe how mutually exclusive applications would be handled.

The FCC allowed LPTV stations that met certain local programming requirements and agreed to comply with applicable sections of FCC Part 73 regulations for full service TV stations to apply for Class A status in November 1999 and receive protection from interference by full service TV stations. LPTV stations, due to their secondary status, are not eligible for this protection. There are a relatively small number of Class A TV stations.

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.