After listening to the panels at the FCC Broadcast Engineers Forum describing the how difficult it will be to find channels for every full-power and Class A TV station below channel 31, the commission's announcement on Monday that it was postponing any new licensing for digital low power/translator stations wasn't surprising.
"To permit the Commission to evaluate its reallocation and repacking proposals and their impact on future licensing of low power television facilities, the Media Bureau deems it appropriate to postpone nationwide digital licensing for low power television and TV translator stations until further notice," the FCC said.
What remains to be seen is what happens to existing LPTV and translator licenses in congested areas. As the maps I described in my article on the FCC Broadcast Engineering Forum show, in much of the country there will not be a channel for every full-power and Class A TV station even if all LPTV and translators in those areas are shut down. Given that low power stations in these areas will to have to compete with full power stations for channels, the Media Bureau's postponement makes sense.
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.
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