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FCC Offers Relief for MVPDs, Broadcast Stations Affected by Wilma

The FCC Media Bureau is providing relief to multichannel video programming distributors (MVPDs), TV and radio broadcasters, by allowing them to operate and restore communications to the areas affected by Hurricane Wilma.

Through its Public Notice , the commission's relief actions address the following:

  • Special temporary authority (STA) requests will be handled as quickly as possible;

  • FM and TV stations are allowed to erect temporary antennas without prior authority from the FCC;

  • AM stations may use their full daytime facilities during nighttime hours to broadcast emergency information;

  • Current rules on the notification time period will be waived; the commission will accept notifications within 30 days and requests to remain silent within 60 days of discontinuance of operations;

  • Broadcast stations located within the Federal Disaster Area will be granted an additional 90 days to complete construction;

  • For Cable Television Relay Service (CARS) stations, the Notice will begin expedited procedures for STAs for temporary facilities or modification to existing facilities for restoration of services. Operation under CARS STAs may begin immediately upon local coordination and notification of the FCC must be made within 48 hours and subject to ratification or modification by the commissions Media Bureau.

Additionally, compliance by MVPDs with many of the technical requirements of Part 76, Subpart K of the Rules will be waived for 90 days.