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First Round Channel Election Deadline Delayed

Shortly after last week's RF Report was sent to readers, the FCC released an anticipated extension date for stations required to make first round channel elections to file Form 382. On Jan. 14, the FCC received a request from the Association of Federal Communications Consulting Engineers (AFCCE) requesting a 45-day extension of the Jan. 27, 2005 deadline for filing Form 382. AFCCE said extending the deadline would give more stations time to negotiate and finalize negotiated channel arrangements, which could streamline the channel election process by reducing interference conflicts.

The FCC Media Bureau granted the extension in part to ensure, in its words, "a smooth and accurate channel election process." Stations have until Feb. 10, 2005 to file the first round channel election forms (Form 382, available at the FCC Web site). This brief further delay in the filing deadline will assist stations that require additional time to make first round channel election decisions and could result in better informed decisions and reduced potential for interference conflicts."

The FCC said most TV stations would be filing channel elections in this first round.