Federal Register publishes LPDTV FNPRM; comment clock begins

The Media Bureau released a public notice this week announcing publication of the Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking and Memorandum Opinion and Order (FNPRM) considering issues related to completing the low-power television station digital transition was published in the Federal Register on Oct. 18.

Publication in the Federal Register started the pleading cycle for the LPDTV Transition FNPRM, MB Docket No. 10-148. As a result, comments are due Friday, Dec. 17, and reply comments are due Tuesday, Jan. 18, 2011.

In the LPDTV Transition FNPRM, the commission considers:

• whether to adopt a hard deadline during 2012 for the termination of analog low-power television facilities;

• whether to require existing analog and digital low-power television stations in the 700MHz band (channels 52-69) to cease operations by a certain date and to submit displacement applications or discontinue operations altogether;

• whether to delegate to the Media Bureau the authority to establish timeframes and procedures for stations “flash cutting” to digital on their existing analog channels and for those operating digital companion channels to return one of their channels;

• whether to widen the class of low-power television broadcasters subject to the commission’s ancillary and supplementary fee rules;

• whether to modify the commission’s minor change rule so that it covers a proposed change in a low-power television station’s transmitter site of up to 30mi from the reference coordinates of the station’s transmitting antenna;

• whether to revise the vertical antenna patterns used in the prediction methodology for the low-power television services; and

• whether to allow low-power television stations to use the emission mask used by full power television stations.