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KKTV Requests Move from VHF to UHF

Gray Television, owner of KKTV in Colorado Springs, Colo., has asked the FCC to substitute its Channel 10 allotment with Channel 49 for KKTV in Colorado Springs in order to improve coverage.

Many stations with VHF DTV channels received complaints about poor reception after the June 12 analog shutdown. The widely reported problems with VHF indoor DTV reception raised concerns that VHF channels may not be suitable for mobile DTV.

In its Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (MM Docket 09-111)[PDF], Gray stated that the proposed channel substitution will resolve significant reception problems inherent with high VHF digital channels, which have been experienced by numerous viewers throughout KKTV's service area, and will improve the possibility for future service to viewers using handheld and mobile devices. On channel 10, KKTV is predicted to receive interference to 54 percent of its population and to serve only 959,551 people. The proposed operation on Channel 49 is predicted to serve 1,922,413 people.

The FCC has determined that Channel 49 could be substituted for Channel 10 and would be in compliance with FCC rules for community of license coverage and interference. The rulemaking proposes operation on Channel 49 with an effective radiated power (ERP) of 550 kW at a height above average terrain of 725 meters. This exceeds the maximum ERP at this height under Section 73.622(f)(8)(ii) of the FCC rules. However, this ERP is allowed under Section 73.622(f)(5) because the proposed contour will not exceed the coverage area of KTSC-DT, Channel 8, Pueblo, Colo., the largest station within KKTV(TV)'s market.

Comments on the Petition for Rulemaking are due 15 days after publication in the Federal Register with reply comments due 10 days later. The Petition for Rulemaking includes instructions for filing comments.

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.