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FCC Schedules Auction for New Jersey, Delaware DTV Channel

On Monday the FCC announced Auction 90 for two VHF DTV licenses: Channel 4 in Atlantic City, N.J. and Channel 5 in Seaford, Del. This is in compliance with an update to the Communications Act of 1934 requiring the FCC to allocate at least one VHF channel per state "if technically feasible." See an earlier RF Report article New VHF TV Allotments for Delaware and N.J. for details.

The FCC denied a request by Venture Technologies Group, LLC to amend the post-transition DTV allotments table "in order to allow the eventual winner of Auction 90 to license the VHF television station to any community in Delaware or New Jersey, provided that such an allotment would not cause harmful interference to other VHF services." This would have allowed the winner to move the licenses closer to major markets.

The Seaford allotment, if moved to Wilmington, Del., would allow coverage of Philadelphia. The Atlantic City allotment, if moved to Newark, N.J., or other community just outside New York City, could serve that market.

The FCC said Venture's proposal was "beyond the scope of this proceeding," which the Commission wanted confined to the establishment of competitive bidding procedures for the auction.

It added that "this proceeding is not an appropriate forum in which to challenge determinations made in the DTV allocation rule-making proceeding."

Minimum opening bid for each of the channels is $200,000. Details on how to participate in the auction are found in Public Notice DA-2008/Docket 10-147.

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.